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hello all,

here are some important things I have learned here in Maine:

1)  It is possible to rescue a dried up contact lens and get it back in full working order.  (I was staying the night at Lauren's house, she is my friend the barn director girl, and, well, the light was off when I took my lens's out that night so obviously I missed with my aim. After cursing under my breath and glancing at the ridiculously bright sky  I just dumped the poor brittle thing back in the solution and prayed.  It was touch and go for a while but we made it. Contact lens was fully functioning again.

2) 11 year olds have toy boys.  It's really funny.

3) Apropos to that:  12 and 13 year old girls LOVE themselves.  Seriously LOVE themselves.  They are God's gift to the world.  We have a full length mirror in the cabin andit get utilised a lot.

4) Continuing on that theme... I can shower, shave, get dressed and brush my hair and teeth before my girls can get up and drag a pair of shorts on in the morning.

5) High-Low circles are the bane of my life.

6)  Hay is STILL the other bane of my life.  Where are the burly life guards when you need them??  At least these are only two string bales...

7)  13 year olds are stronger than me when lifting bales of hay.  At least they have some uses.

8)  Teaching absolute beginners is at once both truly terrifying and hilarious.  You turn around for two seconds and LOOK! That horse that was walking placidly around the ring has somehow transported itself  neatly onto the centre line. 

9)  Children know no geography. Or history.  Or anything.  I did a quiz last night as part of my cabin night.  I asked what was the capital of the UK... of England then,... ok, of the USA.... no?  Not even your own country?  I know you're 11 but.... no?

10)  Candy instantly brings smiles of joy to campers' faces.

11)  It's really funny to mess with your camper's heads: tell them you're all going on a creek walk for cabin night, keep up the pretense all day then actually take them for said creek walk because the whole time they're so confidently telling you that we would never plan something as banal and boring as a creek walk for cabin night.  Then offer candy to the first child to fully submerge themselves in the cold creek water and watch em all jump on in.  Haha.  Then we went to the hot tub.  It was intense.

12)  I still really love working with horses and teaching riding lessons.

13) It's nice to receive unexpected compliments.  My director took me aside and told me that I taught the best lessons they have EVER had here. (Maybe they have really poor lessons normally?!)  She also wanted me to come back next summer and take her role as the equine director; I was her first choice above all of the others.  I am extremely flattered, a little taken aback and regretful that I cannot accept such an offer.  Hopefully one of my co-counselors (who are all amazing) will come back and continue the great work here.

14)  First impressions are not always correct.  I disliked one of the girls here during staff training; I was displeased when I found out that we were going to be in the same cabin; I was even more displeased, although not surprised when I found out we were on the same shift (Here there are two shifts, we have like every other evening off and a 36hr break every 8 days so while the one shift is off the other is one... there are normally four counselors to each cabin, two on each shift).  Turns out she is now one of my best friends here at camp, we spend our off time together and most of our time on laughing hysterically... especially at night after lights out.

15)  Whispered conversations and silent laughter are the best kind.

16)  The stars here are beautiful and I could watch them all night.

17)  I miss Oregon, and Westwind every day, even though  it is great here.

18)  Milk Duds... it's a good job you don't exist in the UK... still the best American Candy.

19) I love llamas!

20)  I am getting worse and worse at keeping in touch, and getting more cryptic every time!

hope everyone is well!

love Jo xxxx

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