Chapter 1

Names except mine are changed for privacy reasons.

Okay, so for the past two weeks, I've been an apprentice (counselor) at a 9-3:30, Monday-Friday theater camp. I've done numerous shows and camps with this theater group since I was 10, and now that I'm 15 this is my 2nd summer apprenticing. This was the worst day in history for our camp.

Today was the 2nd Friday, the last day, and show day. In the morning, we have two classes, one from 9-10:30, and one from 10:35-Noon. Noon is lunch, and then at 12:30 lunch ends and we start rehearsing our play. Apprentices just help with the show, and aren't in it.

So anyways, today we had dance for the 4th time at 9, and at 10:35 after our bathroom break, we had my old voice teacher come in. She used to make me cry during every lesson so it's fairly obvious why I switched teachers. The teacher, Monica, splits our 21 campers in two 5 groups. The 6 boys in one group, 6 girls in another, and then 3 groups of 3 girls. In the group of 6 girls, the youngest camper, who's 7 years old begins to cry. Sammy is super shy, and only in the camp because her sister is too. She freaks out anytime the teacher puts her on the spot. Anytime she has to sing in front of anyone, forget it. She said that she was really scared and Monica snapped, "Just deal with it." Yep, she did that, to a 7 year old.

As soon as I see tears, I rush over, my co-apprentice Roxie is apparently clueless to this. I hold her hand out of the classroom to get water and relax a bit. Standing outside the classroom is Monica, and our 18 year old dance teacher Katie. They start telling her, while she's still bawling her eyes out, that she just has to do it, that Monica isn't mean or scary at all, and that she has 5 other girls with her to keep her company up there. Quite honestly, I very much disagreed with the "not mean or scary at all" part, but because the kids look up to me, I have to go along with it. So I take Sammy back into the classroom, still in tears, and she gets with her group and finally starts to smile while I help out other groups.

The 4 other groups go before Sammy's group of 6. When it's her group's turn, Lucy, who's 9 asks to use the bathroom, and says she has to go REALLY BADLY. By that point it's like 11:56 so Monica barks, "Just sing the song 1st and hold it." I know Lucy to be a star performer, so I just focus my attention on shy little Sammy. They're lined up Lucy, 3 other girls, then Sammy's sister, and then Sammy, when Monica starts the song.

Seconds later I hear Monica yell to me, "JoJo, get her!"

My response is, "Get who?" Because shy little Sammy seems okay.

"The one on the end!" She barks. Sammy IS on the right end. Mind you she had worked with the kids before and should know their names.

So I leap up and see Lucy with pee dribbling down her leg, I race over and rush her down the hall into the girls room, where she dashes into the 1st stall. I instantly hear her bawling her eyes out as I begin to mop up the floor with paper towels. The next thing I do is hand her a wad of new paper towels to clean herself up with because she's in the locked stall.

"Lucy, accidents happen! It wasn't your fault, it was Monica's. You said you really had to use the bathroom and she should've just let you go. That wasn't your fault at all! And hey, I think you're really brave for still going up there!" Yep. I was consoling a crying camper in the bathroom through the stall.

Katie, who is the dance teacher and well as the head of the camp's daughter comes in and asks Lucy if she wants a pair of costume pants until someone can come by and drop off clean clothes for her. Lucy cries no and that she just wants to stay in the bathroom until someone comes to bring her new clothes. Katie just goes with it, and then goes to clean up the classroom where everyone else is having lunch. Not our director, Madeline who's waiting with the head of the camp during lunch time, not Mrs. Bronson, Katie's mom, not Monica, but Katie who's stuck mopping up the mess.

So after about 5 minutes of her crying in the stall and me handing her paper towels, Mrs. Bronson FINALLY gets the brilliant idea to call Lucy's mom. Her mom doesn't pick up her cell phone. Next we try the work phone, she picks up the 2nd time we try, and she tells Lucy, who's still crying in the bathroom stall, that in 15 minutes her grandpa will be there with clean clothes.

Lucy asks me to 1) get tissues from my bag because paper towels aren't soft, and 2) get her lunch so we can eat in the bathroom. I walk out, and I tell Mrs. Bronson, Madeline, and Monica what I'm doing. Mrs. Bronson tells me just to get the tissues and not to eat lunch in there. Lucy and I will just eat our lunch later together and that I have to stay in the bathroom with her. Why the ADULTS didn't keep her company, and I the apprentice with NO parenting or real nurturing experience am forced to do that, I'll never know.

Either way, I rush to get my little pack of "Frozen" Anna and Elsa tissues. Winslow, my oldest camper who's honestly like a 3rd apprentice asks me if he can help any and if Lucy would like him to keep him company because he's done with lunch. I rush out with my tissues and ask, and the adults shoot that down, because a boy in the girls bathroom, even in an emergency like this, is completely absurd. If you ask me, I honestly would've let him in because he comforts criers when Roxie or I can't, and he's very sweet, mellow, and like I said, practically a 3rd apprentice.

I come in with the tissues, and mind you now it's pushing 12:15, and Lucy is still bawling her eyes out in the bathroom. I keep comforting her and telling her that it wasn't her fault, and that no one will pick on her. Everyone is mad at Monica for this and feels bad for her. Just after that leaves my mouth, Monica walks in.

She doesn't say anything, just comes in, leans against Lucy's stall, listens to her bawling her eyes out for maybe just under a minute, and then walks out. I'm 1) Shocked by how she could not care at all about the 2nd kid she made cry that morning, and 2) How she could still be here even though her lesson ended at noon.

After a few more minutes of her crying slowing down, Mrs. Bronson says that her grandpa will be here any minute and I'm allowed to go in and eat my lunch. I ask Lucy if that's okay and she sniffles yes. Everyone else has cleaned up lunch, so I sit down at the directors table with Madeline and Roxie. Nearly every camper is asking them about Donnie, a camper who supposedly puked during lunch. I still don't know if he really puked, or was just dry-heaving or what happened, but here are the 4 stories I heard.
1) He was running around and spinning during lunch
2) He was nervous for the show
3) His lunch was appetizing and either made him sick or the look of it made him sick
and 4), which I believe is the case, was so freaked out by Monica that his nerves got to him and he lost his lunch.
Like I said, don't know if he was dry heaving or actually puked, but needless to say between the wet pants, and that, I didn't eat much of my lunch.

Lucy's grandpa finally brings her clothes, and she finally eats lunch, but for whatever reason they made her eat in the hallway instead of at the directors table like I did, or with the other kids while they were sitting on the floor going over their scripts one last time. That to me was really awful.

Okay so we do the show and everything goes over okay, but i'm still pissed off about these few things.
1) Why didn't Monica get Lucy herself if she saw it before Roxie or I did?
2) Why didn't Roxie have to spend anytime in the bathroom with Lucy so I could eat lunch? We could've split the time.
3) Or, why didn't an adult come in and help me? I'm only 15, I couldn't handle it all on my own.
4) Why didn't anyone make Lucy wear the costume pants until her grandpa came so she wouldn't have been crying and starving in the bathroom?
5) They have tissues with Mrs. Bronson, why didn't anyone think to bring them into the bathroom.
6) Why did Sammy have to sing the song even though she was bawling her eyes out because she was so scared?
7) Why didn't anyone chew out Monica over all this?
8) Why was she still hear after her lesson and not do anything about it?
9) Why didn't Roxie handle Donnie who was either puking or dry heaving? Why did Katie have to yell at him to run to the boys bathroom?
10) Why didn't anyone think to check in on her more than once? We were in their for nearly a half an hour if not longer.

I told Uncle Jordan about this after the show on our way home, he said we should either Email Mrs. Richards who runs the entire theater group as well as all the camps about Monica, or talk about it with her in person. I think that's a brilliant idea, as well as tell her about the lack of adult interaction with the crisis. I mean come on, 1/2 the adults are mothers and the other half are in college, who's better fit to handle a crying 9 year old who wet her pants? A 15 year old camp counselor, or a mother/college student with WAY more child experience?

Now I really need some advice, do we write and email or talk to Mrs. Richardson in person? Do I only talk about how awful Monica was or also talk about the very bad help on the adults part? Do I take uncle Jordan with me, or have him write the email or do it all on my own, or together? WHAT DO I DO?

Love, JoJo

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