I have been on my first... albeit, last, school camp ever. It was a music camp, and as a cellist, not to mention music committee president, I had to go.
There are several great aspects to the music camp. Everyone was telling me for weeks before hand all about the fun things they got up to on previous camps - the traditional talent show, wake-up calls, cabin inspection, and awards.
Playing in the talent show is compulsory, but playing with talent is entirely optional. Most of the acts are tongue in cheek, and rustled together with a few awkward props the same morning. That is how my act came about. The grade eleven girls with whom I shared a cabin, decided it would be nice to all do something together. So with my ukulele, we spent an hour preparing the viral YouTube song, blatantly known as The Duck Song to present. It went very well at the show, and being such a catchy, repetitive and annoying song, we had, and continue to have everyone on camp humming the tune, and muttering "waddle waddle".
Each morning the music committee was in charge of the wake-up call. On the first morning, our vice president played his trumpet up and down the corridors at the top of his lungs. On the second morning, however, we decided a grand finale was in order, so in the wee hours of the morning (5:30am) we slipped out into the dark, frosty cold and set up tom-toms, gongs and cymbals. In a furious tribal call-and-answer pattern, we shattered early morning dreams and rose hordes of groaning teenagers from their cabins.
The cabin inspection is an age old tradition of the music camp. Each cabin brings along something with which to decorate their cabins on the last day of the camp. Each cabin is then inspected by a "judging panel" of teachers and they award a most creative cabin. Our original plan for our cabin was 'Heaven'. So we all brought white sheets with which to adorn the walls. But this morning as we prepared to decorate, it occurred to us that it was incredibly lame, and no one would even be able to tell what we were trying to do.
A flash of genius struck when I suggested we line the walls and floor of the front room of the cabin with all of the mattresses, and acted like psychiatric patients in a padded ward. Our plan was brilliant. We managed to completely line the small front room with mattresses and with our the sleeves of our jumpers turned inside out, we sat around pretending to wear straight-jackets, as our "warden" introduced us each in turn. Apparently "the experience of my first camp was so traumatising that I had receded into the dark depths of my soul and remained unresponsive to all communication."
Finally, the awards. Our cabin tied for most creative, the teachers being most impressed by our "accurate" self-diagnosis. Our performance of The Duck Song at the talent show won us the award of Best Prepared Act, ironically enough. And I won the award for Being the Most Cruisy Person at Camp.
All in all, my first and last camp experience was hugely enjoyable, and memorable.