About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jobs gone past - Job 2: Camp Counselor

In the summer of 1991, for 4 months, I went to this camp in New York state.

Camp Jened it was called and it was in the beautiful Catskill mountains in upper New York.

This camp was interesting and unlike the many summer camps we have seen on the television.

You see, this camp was for adults, special need adults, adult with a mental incapacity or with some mental and severe psychological problems.

Some of them lived in caged up housing center - pretty much like a prison - said for their own safety.

So, coming out in the mountains and forest for a nice camp was their only 2 weeks in the outside world.

Each group came in for 2 weeks, and then we would get a weekend off and another group will come in for 2 weeks.

Over the period, we had 10 groups but each counselor would work only with 9 groups and get some time off.

Dealing with special need adults was really challenging and also memorable at the same time.

Each one of us had 1 or 2 adults assigned to us and a list of activities that we would do with them. Activities included fishing, boating, swimming, arts and crafts, hiking, telematch games etc.

My first is the only person I can remember, his name was Robert Starling and he was 60 years old. He was a smooth talker and relatively easy to get along with. Overall a nice person.

I also met a very nice person whom became my "girlfriend" during the summer. Also met a lot of other counselors who become good friends but this was beyond the time of internet and we soon lost touch.

I do wish I was still in touch with some of them and can find them in cyberspace. I just got in touch with 2 old camp counselors through Facebook.

My summer did not end well but due to various reasons during that time, I had to make a decision that was difficult at that time.

Looking back now, I truly cannot fathom why the decision was so difficult. I made the right decisions then and should not have felt bad about it then.

Anyways, the camp was overall a wonderful experience. It was really an eye-opener to work with an interesting bunch of campers with different problems in their lives. But the Skankers (somehow that was what our team of counselors were called) survived, thrived and now I am here.

When the camp started, my initial plan was to take a train for the 1st time in my US life, but it ended up that I drove with another camp counselor that was going from Wisconsin. I have yet to get in touch with her but I sure hope I do. I took a plane back after camp.

I had a friend in New York City at that time and we did some trips to New York City, really enjoyed it.

That was also when I saw Paul Simon (from Simon and Garfunkel) perfrom live in Central Park.

I got my first tatoo in Woodstock, New York.

I ate lots of bagels with cream cheese.

I met the most number of Gejerati's I have ever seen in US.

I took the subway many times.

I went to the Bronx and Brooklyn.

I visited the lady Liberty.

I did white water rafting.

7 of us cramped ourselves in a small motel room.

I kissed an American girl for the 1st time.

I laughed, I cried, I jumped for joy, I slumped in sadness and now here I am.

Take care and be well.

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