This week is Splash Week at camp. This means that all around camp, councillors can be spotted surrounded by a protective circle of children, who will put their lives on the line to keep their councillor dry. At the beginning of each day, each staff member will draw out another’s name, who will be their target for the day. If a councillor is splashed, the splasher inherits their target, until there is one winner remaining. Yells of indignation echo throughout camp as staff are eliminated one cup of water at a time. Everyone with a water bottle is treated warily and with suspicion. It’s a battle of deception, speed and wit, and the best part about it is that the kids have such a great time. When their councillor takes a step outside, out of the ‘Safe Zone’, or another staff member gets too close for comfort, yells of ‘CIRCLE HERE’, ‘GATHER’, and ‘PROTECT’ can be heard as the girls enter defensive mode. It’s the funniest thing to watch.
In this week, relationships between staff can shatter in approximately 0.5 seconds, or the time it takes for water to travel from the cup to the person it is meant for. I personally am not particularly adept at this tournament. One particular defeat sticks in mind. Flex and I had been invited by the ‘Cupcake Boss’ group in the Four Hills unit to their sleep-in breakfast, which means they can have a lie-in and then make their own breakfast over their campfire. There was no group at the pool until 10am, so we headed over for pancakes. We arrived just in time, and were served our second breakfast of the morning. I thought after a while that the girls were acting oddly, giggling and looking at each other with sly grins plastered across their tiny faces. Deciding to put it down to juvenile in-jokes, I ignored it and carried on eating my chocolate chip pancakes in bliss. However bliss was not to be. The moment I scooped up the last mouthful of melting, rich, sweet confectionary, I felt with a sudden shock a cold, slow stream of water snaking its way down the back of my neck and into my t shirt. I looked over my left shoulder and Harmony, one of their councillors, was guiltily holding a now empty cup of water. It had been a trap. I stood up very slowly and looked at Harmony, hoping that the betrayal I felt deep inside was evident in my facial expression. I reached into my pocket to find the tiny, precious piece of paper containing the name of my target and placed it on the table between us, before turning and walking off back down the hill towards the rest of camp.
For the rest of the day Harmony apologised to me, stating that it was her duty to her unit to try at all costs to win the game. Nothing would console me, and I went to bed feeling cheated out of a place in the final. As usual though, sleep is the perfect place to forgive and forget, and I awoke in the morning ripe and ready for a new target. Game on.