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The Anticamp

You know, and I know, and those other people over there know, that I have spoken and written at length about the ups and downs of running a tiny one woman business. Well talk about ups and downs – last week certainly had it’s share of both!

To start off with, I ran the smallest, most minuscule, pea sized camp that I have ever agreed to run.
I generally have between six and ten kids in a camp. However, enrollment was really low for my first week of camp this year- only four children were signed up. So I called a meeting (with myself), decided that four was the absolute minimum amount that I could run a camp with, and happily continued with my planning.

The downs…

On Monday morning, a parent called to cancel – her child was not art-inclined, it seems. Oh dear – suddenly, I was running something that was very un-camplike. It was the Anticamp.

Three kids.
Any teacher, or parent worth their salt knows that three is definitely not the magic number. Two kids is fun, camaraderie, and hours of secret swapping. Four kids is a close-knit unit, an exercise in team building.  Three kids is backstabbing, bloodshed and tears. The problem with three, is that no matter what, one child is always left out. I could see hours of conflict resolution unfolding before me….

…then, to my horror, I discovered that my four year old was running a fever, ack! It will suffice to say, I choked back a tear or two.

Luckily, I have a very supportive husband.

Now for the ups…

I was actually pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was hard work at times keeping the three kids motivated, and cooperative, but we actually got some great work done, and had a lot of fun along the way. We got to do things that we would not have done with a bigger group. We spent longer on projects, and improvised more with our work. Every afternoon we drove to a local playground, and at the end of each day we had a water fight. The kids actually got on pretty well.

What did I learn?

Well, I learnt a lot about all the different ways in which insects can kill, maim, and be killed.  I learnt more about Pokemon than I wish to know. I learnt that elementary school kids cheat when playing board games with adults, they call it “leveling the playing field” – hmph. I learnt that a good game of Piggy in the Middle is the best bonding exercise for three kids, and finally, I learnt to always expect for the best.

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Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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