(Written 26th August 2014)
The last few days of camp flew past and before I knew it closing camp fire was upon us and we have been left looking back wondering where the hell the summer had gone. The closing camp fire also meant our drama debut, and Caitlin and I nervously got our kids ready for their big performance, worrying over it being far too long and not at all funny. Dress rehearsals had been full of prompting entrances onto the stage, lines being forgotten and words being said too quietly- leaving us very anxious as to what was about to unfold with the real thing. But our worries quickly subsided as the first scene played out, and I was left feeling so proud of them all (and slightly relieved) as the final scene ended. There had been plenty of laughs, all lines remembered and said loudly, even little 6 year old Zoya from Slovenia had absolutely aced it and said her lines! I could not stop smiling! What a great end to the session it was. The song ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’, which all the counsellors sing on the stage to the kids (who we all hope will cry because they are leaving us) on the last night, actually acquired some meaning for us too. It wouldn’t be long before we would all be heading off in our own directions having shared this 3 months together.
On my last morning I woke at 5.45am and headed with some friends to paddle board and watch the sunrise over Pakostane. It was truly a sight worth waking up for. Sadly some of us are not blessed with the best of balance and were unable to stay dry for the exhibition, despite it being completely flat! But for me this made it all the more memorable. I felt lucky that it had been stormy and cloudy the night before so the water was like bath-water when I fell in!
The kids left and we spent the afternoon clearing up. EVERYTHING went away. Arts and crafts went into 5 boxes, benches and tables disappeared, signs came down, the infamous green fence around camp was rolled up, even washing lines were put away. We bundled into a couple of huts as the heavens opened and rain poured for a few hours. When it eventually subsided we got ready for the leaving staff dinner. Chloe, the superwoman that has held camp together this summer as camp Mum, found herself feeling very sick. Sometimes life can be so unfair. She had dealt with ridiculous outbreaks of impetigo and norovirus all summer and been put in some horrible situations- if anyone deserved to be there that night it was her. Yet here she was, curled up in a ball, in tears, desperate to get better for the evening. She was determined to make it to the meal, and did so.
The meal was great and the slideshow brought tears to my eyes. We were given our nice lists- the perfect thing to read whenever you feel down, and our flags. A few drinks and some great food and then we were on our way to continue our night. And what a great night it was. At 5.30am, and after a nasty fall through a hole in a pier, Mick, Connor and I headed back for a couple of hours sleep before the buses departed in the morning. Waking up slightly drunk still meant my goodbyes were far more lively than they potentially should have been when saying goodbye to some very good friends! Either way, before I knew it I was on the bus to the airport, where I was to spend 7 hours waiting for my flight that evening to bring me home after another simply fantastic summer at my camp oasis in the paradise of Croatia!