27 January 2017

Positivity Camp Chapter 4

Written by Sarah-Maree

So, due to pressure from friends and family, I have completed the next segment of this crazy camp story. This is still ongoing, but I'll try to work on it more often. Once again! I hope you enjoy more of the latest mischief at Positivity Camp!

Chapter 4:
Music with Melinda

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My brain felt like mush after being forced to watch what had to be the stupidest video ever. I couldn’t even recall what Wendy and I had done to deserve watching the awful thing. Regardless of what we had done, I knew what we had to do now. Best of all, if we were clever about it, we wouldn’t even be breaking the rules, and that meant no more trips to go watch some stupid camp video. 

At the end of the video, the nurse or psychiatrist – I still had no idea which – came in and gave us a brief lecture. As soon as I saw her nametag, I lost all focus. She had come in and introduced herself as Counselor Pamela, but her nametag had Pam on it. Whoever she was, she was all sorts of confusing.

When we left, Wendy filled me in on what I had missed due to Nurse/Psychiatrist/Counselor Pam/Pamela’s confusing identity. Apparently, we had to walk to the stage area where we had started the day with our parents and stay there for Counselor Melinda’s lesson. Since we had missed the shifting of the groups as campers went to their next activity, we were to catch up with our group there.

All we had to do now was make it through whatever lesson Counselor Melinda had in store for us. In too short of a time, we made it to the camp’s stage. Our group sat on the benches, bored expressions on their faces. Although I wasn’t looking forward to the new activity, I was happy to see someone other than Counselor Dave in charge. In his place stood Counselor Melinda. Instead of the naming ball, she had clipboards and pens for each of us. Other than that, it looked much the same: bored kids listening to some overly cheerful adult. 

“Hey! So glad you two could join us!” Counselor Melinda called out as we approached. “We were just talking about the benefits of being positive, but then you two just learned all about that with our Positivity Camp video, I’m sure,” she paused as though waiting for some affirmation. 

This time, I beat Wendy to the punch. “You know it!”

To my surprise and delight, Counselor Melinda gave me a suspicious look as though she were trying to discern if I were being sincerely cheerful or if I had just used the forbidden word no. Not that it would have made any grammatical sense if I had.

“You know we did!” Wendy called out a mere second behind. We exchanged mischievous smiles. Clearly the video had done little to curb our negative tendencies.

“Alright.” Counselor Melinda lost her smile as she eyed us suspiciously. “I see you two should be separated. Ike, you pair up with Wendy, and Meliah, you team up with Daniel.”

How did she know our names? The question went unanswered as I realized Wendy and I wouldn’t be partners anymore. I wandered over to sit with Meliah and watched in dismay as Wendy went in the opposite direction to sit with Ike. She shot me an encouraging wink, but it hardly registered. I wanted to be her partner, not Meliah’s.

“Now then, we were just about to take what we learned and put it into song!” Counselor Melinda smiled vibrantly at everyone, clearly intending to do the positive thing and move on. “Now that you are teamed up with your buddy, it’s time to work together and come up with a positive song about what you’ve learned here at Positivity Camp. So, put your knowledge to the test, and see what you can remember thus far. Oh, and if you would rather do a poem, that works too!”

Despite the setback, my brain was working overtime. “Hey, Meliah?” I began cautiously. Wide-eyed, she stared at me before shyly replying with a barely audible yes. “Do you mind if we write our ideas down separately and then compare?”

“No,” she said shyly. Her eyes widened in terror a moment later as she realized her error. Despite the awkward delay, she quickly worked to slur the word into something else. “Ow! Now…” she repeated, somewhat successfully turning her no into a now. “Now, that sounds fun,” she said with a nervous laugh.

For everyone’s sake, Wendy and I had to bring down the camp and its stupid rules. No one should have been fearful of saying no to someone else. We had to show them that their own rules were counter to their stupid philosophy or whatever it was they followed.

That in mind, I sat down and began writing; however, all I could come up with was a semi-catchy phrase that hardly made any sense. Regardless, it would at least irritate them. Still, I needed more.

“Hey, Meliah? Do you mind if we merge ours? I have a fun catchy…um…chorus,” I stammered as I tried coming up with something that sounded like I had actually tried doing the assignment. “But that’s it.”

“Sure!”

The poor girl looked enthused. Too bad she had no idea what I was planning. Part of me felt bad, but only a little, since I knew where the blame would fall.

“Time’s up, everyone! Let’s have Daniel and Meliah go first.”

I couldn’t believe my luck! We were going first! I tried not to smile as we made our way up to the front row of long benches. Meliah had her clipboard and I had mine. We each had the same words, but not the same intentions. Again, I felt bad for the deception, but quickly focused on the task at hand.

“Uh,” Meliah began shyly. “This is our knowledge song. It’s a little interactive…” Melian’s voice died away and she began blushing furiously.

“So please do your part and chant or sing along!” I finished for her. I couldn’t believe my luck, I hadn’t intended for anyone to sing along with us. Meliah was turning out to be a better partner than I’d thought, and for once, I felt perfectly comfortable in front of a group. Of course, Wendy’s approving and downright mischievous smile helped too.

“When you hear a rule you know,” I explained, “just say ‘know, know knowledge!’ to show your knowledge of all that you know!”

“Uh, I’m nnnn.” Counselor Melinda began to protest, but when she began saying a forbidden word, her response turned to a humming sound as she tried finding an alternative N word for not.

“We must obey the many rules,” Meliah began softly, completely unaware of Counselor Melinda’s continuous humming.

When no one spoke, I quickly rushed in, “Remember to say know to all you know!”

“Know, know knowledge,” Wendy chimed in at last.

“We must be positive in thought, and word, and deed,” Meliah continued, this time sounding a bit more confident.

“Know, know knowledge,” Wendy and several others chimed in along with me.

“We must speak only positive words and avoid the forbidden ones.”

“Know, know knowledge!” This time everyone chimed in, except for Counselor Melinda, who was still humming.

“We are here to have positive fun.”

“Know, know knowledge!”

“We are here to learn.”

“Know, know knowledge!”

“We are here to be more positive.”

“Know, know knowledge!”

By the time the final chorus ended, Counselor Melinda found her voice. “Is that all you have?” she demanded. “You two certainly are knowledgeable! And now you can go show your knowledge to the nurse! I had hoped you would have learned your lesson the first time, Daniel,” she said more calmly, “but you, Meliah?” She shook her head in disappointment.

“Excuse me, Counselor Melinda,” I interjected, “but why are you sending us to the nurse?” I played innocent, but poor Meliah was in tears. Honestly, she had nothing to worry about.

“Why? WHY?! Because you broke a rule!”

“What? When we said we know things? But that was what you told us to do! To share the knowledge we had learned.”

“I-I!” she stammered for several seconds as she sought a proper rebuttal.

“Perhaps you should go see the nurse,” someone suggested from the benches.

Counselor Melinda whirled around to confront the culprit, but the camper wisely remained quiet and avoided eye contact.

“All of you are just as guilty!” she fumed.

“Counselor Melinda, what is going on here?” The new, deeper voice startled everyone into looking up at the top of the hill where Head Counselor Petrel could be seen walking down the earthy steps.

“Ah! Mr. Petrel,” Counselor Melinda said with a strange look. “You two,” she said, turning on us, “hand me your papers.”

I happily handed mine over, and when Meliah remained frozen, I gently took her clipboard from her and handed it over as well.

“Read it, and you’ll see why I am sending them to the psychiatrist’s office,” Counselor Melinda handed the papers over. She gave me a smug look before Mr. Petrel could see, but I kept my expression blank.

“I see,” Mr. Petrel said after reading through both copies. “Music lessons are over, children,” he said sternly.

Counselor Melinda smiled.

“You will proceed to the kickball field where you will find Mrs. Tammy.” As he spoke, the smile disappeared from Counselor Melinda’s face.

“What? But they should go to the nurse’s office, or at least stay here. What about my hour?”

“Your hour. Is over,” Mr. Petrel answered stiffly. “Off you go, children.”

There was a menacing way he said those last few words that had us all scrambling to get out of there as fast as possible. Not even Wendy had braved lingering around the head counselor.

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