Pass the Bug Juice … No Wait … It has Sugar in it!

Well, camp is halfway over, and I am about 12 pounds lighter!

Not really losing as much weight as I would have liked, but I am not exactly starving myself the way these campers are. I have the privilege of sneaking an extra portion here and there…it makes all the difference. But either way, I am certainly eating much more healthfully than I did before I arrived.

I mean, my trip to Europe was “Jared’s fast food restaurant and internet cafe tour, 2000” during which I frequented Burger King and McDonald’s almost daily. But here, it’s very low fat…healthy cereals, a lot of fruits and vegetables, and more exercise than I have gotten in years. So in such an environment, it’s hard NOT to lose weight. Of course, on my days off I go crazy….you have to eat real food at least some times.

Beyond the food and exercise, it is phenomenal experience. The kids swing between being extremely funny and easy going and annoyingly frustrating and difficult to deal with.  It’s rare that a day goes by when I don’t throw my hands up in disgust, because they won’t listen to me.

Never a day passes when there isn’t some kind of issue for me to deal with, be it theft or fighting and name calling, or something else. We’ve had to throw a few kids out…most recently we expelled a 330 pound 14 year old, because he blew up at a counselor and went on a rampage threatening to kill everyone. Next day, he was on a plane home…we take these things seriously.

Yesterday, was visiting day. All the parents came so I had to smile a lot. The camp has a policy that all tips have to go through the office, so they can hold it over the heads of the counselors who threaten to quit, I suppose. Hope I got some good tips…I need money!

Being at camp is like being in a bubble. It’s a little world. I like the feeling of being an authority figure in such a little world. It’s nice, because everyone knows my name. So, I walk around all day and all these little kids come up to me and say hello. I smile and greet them, but I don’t really know who they are. I guess that’s how the president must feel 🙂

I’ve also gained the music man reputation I was hoping to have. They all associate me with the guitar and many times so far, I have gotten up in front of 700 people, alone, to sing songs. Most recently, I wrote a camp song and got up and sang it and had everyone singing along. What an incredible feeling to have hundreds of people singing a song that I wrote. It’s really what songwriters fantasize about.

Also, I moved out of the bunk that I was living in with 12 kids, and into a little house they built just for the group leaders. So now I have a lot more privacy, and I can sleep much better…what little time I am permitted to do so.



Camp Life

Hidey ho all!

I am still in the midst of thick and crazy camp life. Knee deep. It has become my reality.  I wake up at 6:45 every morning, go to a meeting with the head counselors and the rest of the group leaders, talk about any important issues that need to be dealt with, plan the day, plan the week, bitch and complain, and drink coffee with real milk, but carcinogenic sweet and lo.

These meetings are like a wall street trading floor…people screaming and yelling at each other, phones ringing, people coming to the door, tangents after tangents…nothing much gets accomplished. But now we male group leaders started having separate meetings by ourselves…ahhh, peace and productivity.

After the meeting, I go and wake up the kids….and that is like bringing down a horse. Some of these kids do not move in the morning, and not to mention the counselors who don’t do anything to help. Sometimes it takes threats of “ETR” or “ETB” to get them going.  These are common punishments we dispense to the trouble makers:  Early to Rise and Early to Bed. They hate that…so usually it gets them to do our will. Muuahahahahaha……I have power.

We have cleanup before breakfast, and I have to go around making sure the kids are doing their jobs…God knows the counselors don’t do theirs. They are, for the most part, warm bodies that serve little purpose. They bitch and complain more than the kids. Oh well. Half of them think they are at club med, and they can do whatever they want!

Then breakfast, which is usually a small box of cereal and a piece of fruit. The cereal is usually All Bran, a nasty invention better suited for gerbils than humans. But we force ourselves to consume all allowed calories. This is a fat camp, remember. After breakfast, we have morning stretch, where we all do some light exercise and get ready for the day’s activities.

The activities:  Softball, Hockey, Basketball, Tennis, Swimming, Rope climbing, Arts and Crafts, Soccer, Lacrosse, Weight Lifting, etc etc.

Each night there is an evening activity, which is usually pretty dull. A few times we have had talent shows, and that has been fun for me, because I get to sing and play guitar in front of 700 people all by myself. Pretty scary, but good experience for me.

I like it here so far…it has its ups and downs, but I am glad to be doing it. Sure beats the corporate hell I recently escaped from.

You can send me mail or packages at:

Jared Nissim, Group Leader
Camp Shane
1311 Old Rt 17
Ferndale, NY 12734



The Days Go By …

Well, so far I have lost eight pounds….my belt is a lot tighter and my pants are a lot looser! It’s a great feeling.

Other than that, I am pretty stressed out. This is a hard job, to say the least. I have 10 counselors under me, and most of them are pretty lazy. Since I am in charge of four bunks and 50 kids, I feel like I am the general counselor of four bunks….most of the counselors behave as though they are campers too, and I find myself having to yell a lot to get everyone to move.

It takes up a lot of energy, but the kids are really great. I get to hang out with them when there isn’t a crisis to resolve. They like my songs a lot….they often make requests of me to play my original songs, and that’s a great feeling…especially when they sing along. We had a camp fire the other night for all the boys, and I was the music man…we all sat around singing, Let it Be, and various other catchy tunes.

I have a few problem campers who cause trouble…we had to kick out a two of them so far…one for selling candy, and the other for selling marijuana. Hard to believe that stuff happens here…but then again, not so hard to believe. The food is a little gross, but at least I am losing weight.

Hope this note finds everyone well. You can send me real mail…like a letter or a package at the following address:

Jared Nissim, Group Leader
Camp Shane
1311 Old Rt. 17
Ferndale, NY 12734

Please send me mail!!