Friday, September 15, 2006

Who we are...

The Cup Game
Another table thing. You'd think we never did anything as boring as eating in the Dining Hall.

Can be done by one person, or by the whole table going around and around, or it can have a definite start and finish.

This site has a really good video of the cup game in action.

As Melissa points out, there is a definite rhythm and beat to the game. This is what I say in my head as I'm doing the actions:

Clap clap, tap tap tap, clap move it over, clap grab tap down change slap next.

People want to know...

We Go To Kutshers
Another table thing

SL = slap the table
CL = clap your hands
SN = snap your fingers


We go to Kutshers and we've got the beat
We never ever have to face defeat
Go-go fight-fight win-win fight-fight
Go fight win fight Go Fight Win

People want to know...

It's a table things. Best to remove all the silverware cutlery first though.

SL = slap the table
CL = clap your hands
SN = snap your fingers




* cross your hands for the second slap, then uncross them for the third.

Everywhere we go...

Hey Someone
It's an E12 thing. Or they liked to think so. Feel free to borrow it. Just maybe not on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Hey Long Island!
Hey What?
Hey Long Island!
Hey what?
Shake your booty!
No way!
Shake you booty!
Jump shake your booty
Jump-jump shake your booty

Hey someone else!
Hey what?

Everywhere we go...

Bazooka-zooka Bubblegum
especially good to sing as you walk around Boston in the rain.

My mom gave me a penny
She said to go to Wendy's
I did not go to Wendy's
Insteeead, I bought bubblegum
Bazooka-zooka bubblegum

My mom gave me a nickel
She said to buy a pickle
I did not buy a pickle
Insteeead, I bought bubblegum
Bazooka-zooka bubblegum

My mom gave me a dime
She said to buy a lime
I did not buy a lime
Insteeead, I bought bubblegum
Bazooka-zooka bubblegum

My mom gave me a quarter
She said to buy some water
I did not buy some water
Insteeead, I bought bubblegum
Bazooka-zooka bubblegum

My mom gave me a dollar
She said to buy a collar
I did not buy a collar
Insteeead, I bought bubblegum
Bazooka-zooka bubblegum

My mum gave me a credit card
She said to come straight home
I did not come straight home
Insteeead, I bought a ticket
A plane ticket to England

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Carnival Day: A pretty much free day to swim, tan, and play on the various carnival-like attractions bought to KSA for the occasion. Ooh, and get some of those yummy shaved ice cone things. Yeah.

Chinese Dinner

As an altenative to Rorke's or the canteen or OD, (plus we had no clothes) a bunch of us ordered Chinese and had a very nice evening in the counselor common room.

Chinese food, bad Cadbury, good Cadbury, canteen milkshakes: a perfect evening.


I never had headlice. Until my younger siblings went to school, caught it from their unclean classmates, and shared with me. Nice.

However, headlice has always been an assumed part of school, like report cards and packed lunches. No big deal.

Not so for the kids (and some counselors) who attend KSA. Some parents need to buy their kids a clue with all that money. Do without the Juicy sweats, buy a clue. Seriously. Your counselor will thank you.

Some kid bought lice to camp courtesy of a party the week before. KSA does not have a policy of checking kids' hair on arrival, although I understand some camps do. This kid in turn gave it to her whole bunk, which sparked off a huge spate of girls wanting their hair checked. And once one kid in a bunk had it, they had to treat everyone else in the bunk.

Despite us telling them not to go til tomorrow, half our girls went down, for some reason got checked (I would have told them to turn around and march right back up the hill), of course were diagnosed with lice, and told they would have to be treated. So I took the rest of the girls down - no way was I going to have a spate of reinfections going around and around the bunk - we got tested (after a bit of a fight), dignosed, and treated.

The hysterics of some of these girls. Honestly. It's just shampoo girls, really. Wash your hair, take two Valiums, and call me in the morning.
And don't even get me started on the Jewish hair on some of these girls. Lucky I actually like brushing people's hair. Too bad no-one offered to do mine.

Here's Sylvie doing hers when she got back from her day off:

The one thing that really annoyed me was the attitude of some people who either hadn't been checked yet, or who had been pronouned clean by the stellar health staff. There was a very obvious crowd of girls walking around with recently-washed hair / bikinis on / lack of trendy clothes on and these people were treated like lepers. It was extremely irritating, not least because hello, I've been treated, therefore all the nits are dead. Look at you, dirty, unwashed ... Well, you get the picture.

The lice gods smiled on me though, and the second check forced all the non-believers into smelly-shampoo territory also. Yay.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


In basketball, Leagues was divided into Scholastic, Collegiate, and NBA. Being the superior basketballer that I am, I got to coach Scholastic. I would have been happy to watch and learn, but they liked the counselors to be doing things. The other Scholastic coaches were Vera, Abby, and Cameron, and the four of us had to run a draft, then coach and ref the very competitive KSA Scholastic League.

Thanks to a bit of coaching from Zuri while I had a day off, my team turned a less-then-stellar start to the season around, and ended up winning the much-coveted League Champs t-shirts.

Third session Vera and I got to co-coach in the amalgamated Scholastic and Collegiate League. We tried really really hard to win a t-shirt for Vera but unfortunately it was not to be. Oh well, we still scored the best player even with the third draft pick. Leagues also got more fun with the arrival of super-coaches Becky and Erica. And the Jayhawks rocked!

Period Two each day was devoted to WKSA: basketball just for the girls. This was probably my favourite period, as it was all the female basketball counselors, we were often learning right along with the girls, and we got to participate a lot and even had a few games against the campers. Wish I could still remember the play that we learnt. Artie?


KSA played in a lot of intercamps, mostly for the campers but the counselors also got a run. First up was the guys, hosted by KSA: lots of testosterone, flashy moves, and brilliant skills. A big event and great game to watch.

The girls also got a few games, later in the session. Of course, we dominated, as befits anyone from KSA. I think we played two games at home. We actually had a fairly close game with arrgh - mental blank - a team anyway, and were challenged to a game on their home court. Please. For a start, their 'home court' was also home to a bajillion bugs and oh yeah, had a lump right under the basket. A little hill, right there on the court. Anyway, we of course squished them like bugs, due to my brilliantly annoying defence on their 'guard' and Regis' excellent coaching methods (like sharing court time. It's a new concept. It'll catch on.).
The ride home with Abby and Randi was most excellent as we battled through Walmart to make it home by curfew. Thanks again to the scary Orthodox Jewish couple who let us go ahead of them. Much appreciated.
Three-on-three was last period every day. Very hot, very lazy counselors and campers. Again, we got the younger kids which was fine. There was lots of lazy around working on our tans. Really should have bought drinks down on a tray more than once.

PS. I don't think Abby was actually there for that period, but I could be wrong. It's a great pic anyway.
Beautiful Basketball Days at KSA
We had this running joke going. Chris always liked to point out the differences in weather between a KSA summer and being in Germany (where Vera and Chris have both lived). It got interesting when Chris asked whether Vera was going to be wearing a bikini tomorrow.
Just another beautiful day at KSA.

June: First week at camp - Walmart and Roarks

Our first week was spent in getting to know the camp, the other counselors, and the town of Monticello.

We had an exciting night at the KSA canteen. Woohoo! No seriously, they do great chocolate shakes, as well as ice cream, pizza, pretzels, mac and cheese, and other healthy American foods (talk about an oxymoron!)

We had lots of fun at the two Monticello houses of entertainment: Walmart and Rorkes. For the internationals, it was our first time in a real Walmart, and our first time riding on a real yellow school bus. Ooh, and the drive-thru ATM. We're easy to thrill.

It was Ellen's birthday early on, so that one was of our first experiences of Roarks. Not that we needed an excuse to go there. Roarks was also the place where the pre-hooking up drinks were consumed and first moves made.

And I can never forget my time spent with the two best blokes in the place: Ben and Jerry.

Friday, July 28, 2006

June: The birth of E7

Sylvie (American, Wisconsin, skating) arrived early with her boyfriend John (American, New York, hockey) and his sister JoMo (camper, E12, skating, volleyball) and Jenna (camper, E1). Also arrived early was Hailey (camper, E7).

Anyway, when the rest of the (read: American) counselors arrived, we had more meetings, some with all the counselors and some just girls up in Girls' Camp. There were some dramas when Stacey (counselor, E8) didn't want to be separated from Sylvie, even though they'd be right next door, and when Cat (counselor, E8), Helen (counselor, E7) and I didn't want to be separated from American, returning counselors.

In the end, we all settled down and made posters, although Stacey did go home early from camp. Helen later left us for E1, and Sylvie and I were left to carry on the good work of E7. Which was very fun. See hair straighteners, Jessica Simpson, Build Me Up Buttercup, hot new dance moves.

June: First days at camp

First days at camp were just the internationals. Had a meeting on the front lawn while we checked who was here and Marc magically memorised who everyone was. Then we dragged our luggage up to the lawn, he assigned us our bunks (remembering who to assign where ... it was freaky, I'm telling you) and we got to lug our luggage up Evert (pronounced Everett) Steps to the top of Evert Hill, where Girls' Camp is located. Summer camp is all about fun.

We got to spend most of our time recovering from our jet-lag and lazing around in the sun. Had a bit of an explore around the camp: basketball courts, lake, pool etc.

June: On the way to camp

Well, the highlights of the bus ride:
- Yankee Stadium
- seeing my first Walmart
- passing the Kutshers signs
- discovering that Ellen was a real live cheerleader.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

June: First morning in Central Park

Had been split up into our camps and had a bit of a chat, so the girls from (or for, really) KSA decided to go for a walk to Central Park before our bus left for the camp. I know, how cliched right, but what else were we going to do in an hour?

On the walk there, we all chatted with whoever was walking next to us at the time: basic where you from, how old are you, what are you studying, what will you be teaching kinda stuff. Really, what else is there to talk about?

Once we got there, sat down, I suggested we go through the names again, as I for one sure as hell didn't remember them. We had Nikki, Ellen and Helen, Jo and Jodie, Kate and Cat, and me. Nikki and Kate had both been there the year before, so although not as counsellors, it was still good hear a bit about the camp and the set-up there, things like that.

Beautiful day for a tan.

June: First night and morning in New York

Got a cab from the airport with a guy named Josh who was also from Australia, and I'd noticed his IEP t-shirt on the way through customs and immigration. Very good to have someone to share the cab fare with.

Got to our hostel with no problems, checked in (or whatever it is you do in hostels) and found my room. Accidentally woke everyone up when I turned on the light (it was about midnight, understandable that they'd be pissed) then went for a shower and some sleep myself.

Woke up and met them under much better circumstances, then it was time to store our luggage and go to the Bunac orientation meeting.

Lots of people there (well duh, obviously) and well over half of them were KSA-bound. After a bit of a talk about America and summer camps, he split us up into our camps, so we could meet the people who'd be counsellors with us for the rest of the summer.

June: On the plane

Was seated next to a really nice girl called Sarah (I think) who'd been studying in Melbourne and was now on her way home to New York. She was able to tell me a little about the Monticello area (and how to pronounce it) which was very comforting.

On the other side of me was a women, no idea what her name was, but the three of us played cards for a little while and chatted. All in all, a very nice row to be seated in.

I was awake most of the flight, playing cards, chatting, looking at photos on Sarah's computer, eating, drinking, (they fed us a lot). Pretty sure the movie was crap, but can't really remember.

When we got to LA, Sarah helped me to find the gate for my connecting flight, another five hours to JFK.

That was a much nicer plane; as you can see the first one wasn't anything special. I was seated behind a family with a young kids, and I remember thinking about all the special attention we used to get when we travelled as a family. I'm sure I was cute.

As we circled, waiting to land at JFK, there seemed to be a lot of stars in the sky. Unusual, I thought, considering the size of New York City. Hey look, they're moving. That's right, I'm an idiot: they were all planes waiting to land. We're so not in Kansas anymore.

June: Departure

I ended up filling one huge suitcase and one huge duffel bag. Very stupid and very funny considering I only took the suitcase when I fully moved out home, and it wasn't even that full. Anyway.

Flew to Sydney at some ungodly hour of the morning, then got to wait around in Sydney all morning til my plane took off.

It was cold.

To amuse myself I had McDonalds for breakfast (healthy way to start the day) and read Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich. I was mostly asleep and so had to read it again when I got to camp and was actually awake.

When it was time to check in, I ducked under the rope maze thing so I didn't have to wheel my brick-heavy suitcase up and down and up and down. And got asked by a nice guy with a turban if he could check my bag. I was very embarrassed and worried that he'd pull out some underwear or chick kinda things in the middle of Sydney airport. Fortunately, he didn't and I was allowed to check in.