High school girls summer camp. Same head mistress as the last 10 years. She knows most of the girls because they have come to camp many years in succession.
It was the first day of camp and we were all getting our room assignments and settling in. It was 5-6 girls per room. Some bunk beds, some just beds. Many of these girls were in my grade or just a year behind. The characters in my dream were actual girls I knew in middle school and high school. I had already graduated but I was allowed to come anyways. So we started our unpacking and re-connecting from the summer before. Most of us went to different schools. In the morning when we were going to start our day we had no idea what it would entail. The day was mostly uneventful not many high entertainment activities. That evening all the girls were talking about their day and how it went. Most of them were not impressed. They mentioned that they felt the level of fun and amount of activities were lacking from years past. They also didn’t like that they had no schedule to go off. They were just ordered around without knowing what to prepare for. They even had examples, “why not tell us we will be swimming in the after noon so we can have our swim suits on and towels ready?” Without such preparation they had to swim in their clothes. They felt like it was either planned very poorly or the head mistress didn’t trust them to go to the activities for some reason. After all they were not children any more. Some of these girls are almost adults. The next day came and it was the same thing, no schedule was announced and they/we were all ordered about. The girls hit their height of annoyance when it was lunch time. They were each told to go get their own potatoes they had to bring from home but they were not told why or how many. So we all had to go back to our cabins and our rooms to get these potatoes. Since we didn’t know how many to bring back we each grabbed out giant sack and hauled them to the mess hall. When we got there the head mistress told us we were all silly girls to bring the entire sack. This is when I felt the need to step up and have a conversation on behalf of the girls. The head mistress and I had a good heart to heart in a room across the hall about the lack of communication given to the girls and the lack of any sort of pre-scheduling. I told her what the girls said last night and her first reaction was to single out which girl she thought would have said that behind her back etc… I explained that who said it was not important it was the fact that they were all in agreement and it was true. The head mistress had been treating them like young children and the girls felt hurt and ordered about. They did no feel trusted and they were assuming the activities they were doing were decided on a whim. By the end of the conversation the head mistress was crying and we were hugging and she said she understood why they would feel like that. She said she was going to change how she was running this year and that she had just been under a lot of stress lately and it was coming through to camp. I explained the health benefits of planning and how it helps decrease stress and I mentioned that you have to allow a certain amount of trust on these young women. When we left the room and returned to the main hall the head mistress announced the next activity and gave them choices on how they can individualize the activity. We were all going to learn how to change a background picture on some social media site… I had not eaten yet so I grabbed my potato, stabbed it a few times, and put it in the microwave. The head mistress almost barked at me to follow the girls to the activity but realized that I had spent my lunch in conversation with her and I was old enough to be trusted to eat a potato on my own and join my friends when I was done. So she went to her office to nurse her new head ache and let us all do our activity without her breathing down everyone’s neck. It was a good rest of the day for everyone.