I just finished my first week as a camp counselor! It was increadibly difficult, but so rewarding! I get to work with my best friends. We high five and hug when we pass each other during games. I feel like a ninja on a mission. I have duty and so much excitement to watch my kids and my fellow counselors susceed!
I carry a water bottle on my belt as I treck through the trees teaching kids about natute. Of course it has anime stickers all over it. Some of the boys in my group during nature science saw my many Naruto stickers. They then asked me if they could call me Sensei.
All my dreams came true that moment.
I love being in the role of a camp counselor. I get to work with kids and teach them. I get crying girls who need someone to love them. I get boys who don’t have good social maturity who just want to roll in dirt. I also got a couple WHITE boys who wanted to mess with me by speaking almost fluent Spanish when I asked them a question about which plant will sting them. I didn’t even know how to respond. (Actually I answered them with a mixture of French and Japanese I learned from high school)
I got the chance to be vulnerable with kids who are just learning who they are. I was their age when I started to develope serious anxiety and depression, so I really want to speak into these girls lives about that subject so they aren’t scared if they end up like me.
I think about Kakashi Sensei and his first day as team 7’s leader. Still dealing with the loss of Obito and Rin, Kakashi was hesitant to take on this new role that was outside of his comfort zone. He’s an introvert like me, a slow guy who just wants to think about life all day. He’s also been through crap and needs to balance that with his responsibilities as a mentor to three kids.
I take on this role being very blunt on how much life sucks. My kids need to know that adults mess up too and that almost nothing is fair. I share my heart and struggles with the girls in my cabin before bed so that we can connect quickly and I can do my job as a mentor more easily.
Kakashi takes a step back and tries to direct his kids in the right direction without pouring out his heart to his kids. It is difficult to have heart to hearts with Naruto type children, which I have many to look after. But Sasuke, now those kids need love and support, and Kakashi knew exactly what that kid needed to hear. That’s why he trained him for the chunin exams. (Too bad Kakashi was too Japanese to actually reach Sasuke’s heart before he went to the dark side…)
This is where the role of the best friend comes in. Every Sasuke needs a Naruto. But I am working hard to be a good Kakashi before the kid really needs a Naruto. But, I also have to be there for those Naruto children who will one day find their Sasuke.
I might not be super active this summer because I will be running after children and going on ninja missions every week. Keep me in your prayers! I still struggle with anxiety because a child is screaming at me.