Behind the Scenes of Camp: A Senior's Perspective
Camp has been a part of PBA’s tradition for many years and it is the seniors’ responsibility to plan the entire three-day event for the school. As a senior for about three months, I’ve just gone through the emotions and struggles that previous seniors have experienced. This is a behind the scenes look at what goes into planning camp.
I have enjoyed camp for the past two years and there is a lot of work in order for it to be successful. Every student will eventually become a senior and, for me, this year is when I received all the duties that come with the title. My class is small compared to previous classes which means that each of us had more work to do, but I learned later that our small size turned out to be beneficial.
We started planning camp towards the end of last school year as juniors -- picking the theme, creating the menu, listing possible activities, and just trying to have a head start. We were placed in three groups: food, logistics, and activities. Since we are such a small class, we ended up helping other groups once our sections were done.
When we first started camp planning, there were not many disagreements and everyone seemed to have an idea of what needed to be done. But when we started the new school year, everything became too much to handle. Camp was quickly approaching and everything needed to be done immediately. Everyone became overwhelmed with stress and we were met with numerous obstacles that we overcame together.
A common obstacle that seniors have to overcome during camp planning is miscommunication. This is why it is important to explain things thoroughly, listen, and ask questions to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
For example, I typed out the instructions on how to make dessert and I thought that we were dying the yogurt with food coloring. It turned out that the whipped cream was supposed to be dyed instead. Since the instructions were printed, I had to notify the teacher in charge of dessert to dismiss the instructions and explain that the whipped cream was being dyed.
Another obstacle is not prioritizing what needs to be done. Camp requires many things and although they all need to be done beforehand, there are various deadlines for each part. This year, we decided to tie-dye shirts, which takes a lot of time and effort. It is easier and less stressful if you plan out what needs to be done each day.
When camp was less than two weeks away, arguments broke out. People were stressed and their emotions got the best of them, but the people in our class forgive easily. We try to understand each other’s perspective, talk it out, and move on from it.
Before we knew it, camp was less than a week away and this was when more physical work was required, such as shopping for groceries, packing the coolers, checking the tents’ conditions, and loading the U-Haul. Figuring out the measurements and amounts needed for each item before going to the store not only saves time but allows others to shop for the items and not have to worry about miscalculations. Packing is essential since food and materials for camp need to be in the U-Haul, so there needs to be at least one person responsible for that section present during packing. Therefore, that person needs to know what we have and where everything is placed.
I think there is only so much you can do to prepare for camp and there is always going to be some minor changes involved. It is clear that camp is a challenge but it is not impossible to accomplish. Previous years have done it, my class has conquered it, and future classes will too.
From my experience, I have a few tips to share which I hope other classes will find useful. An important factor to keep in mind is that everyone has their own ideas so keep an open mind. Not everyone is going to agree on something but compromise and talk it out. When arguments happen, let it go, and move on. Holding a grudge is not worth it and definitely will not help with camp planning. Also, things happen and there are alternatives so just because something unexpectedly causes a change in plans, camp is not ruined. It is your last camp so make it the best one yet.
There is a huge relief and feeling of accomplishment once camp is finished. I feel like we really bonded since we have seen each other when we were beyond stressed, exhausted, happy, and annoyed. Camp could not have been done without everyone’s help. I think that it was absolutely worth all the time and effort and you will realize it too.