Friday 26 April 2019

What I'm Really Thinking about summer camps

'I don't mind being a nerd. We all have our things that we like and don't like'
'I don't mind being a nerd. We all have our things that we like and don't like'

My mum is on at me about summer camps. This happens every year. She wants me to be "keeping busy" over summer, and says she's not going to let me "lie about all day, every day, doing nothing". Which is all very well for her, but I hate doing summer camps. I've never found it easy to make new friends and even though I'm in fifth class now, I still only have two really good friends.

I'm not like a lot of the other boys in my class. They are mad into soccer or GAA or some kind of sport. They all play soccer at break-time, for example. But I don't. I prefer to chat to my friends about Fortnite or other gaming stuff. They're kinda nerdy like me.

You might be surprised that I call myself a nerd, but everyone else calls me it and I reckon, at this stage, it's true. I don't mind being a nerd. We all have our things that we like and don't like. I like computers and astronomy. I just got into Warhammer 40K at Christmas, because one of my friends started to play it. It's pretty awesome. I love the detail of the characters and there's a lot of skill in painting the models.

So, it bugs me when mum starts the constant demand to book me into a summer camp. She'd have me in camps for the whole eight weeks of the holidays if she could. I try to tell her that none of them interest me and that I don't like sports enough to be able to enjoy them. That bit is true, even though it's actually the whole social bit of it that really freaks me out.

When I was younger, I was at Cúl Camps and the FAI camps. It was so awkward. I'd be standing around. I never knew who to talk to, because even the lads I knew were the ones who play soccer at school and they aren't really my friends. Like, if I got put on their team for the games at the end, they'd be rolling their eyes or moaning to their friends. And I would be a liability. I'm not very coordinated when it comes to running or kicking. I've great hand-eye coordination and my reaction times are lightning for things like gaming, but I'm as likely to trip over my own feet when it comes to sports.

But if I try to explain any of this to mum, it's like she doesn't hear me. Well, maybe she does hear me, but she doesn't listen to me. She just has her own agenda. How do you deal with that? It's like parents always presume they know what's best for you. My mum needs to learn that maybe she doesn't.

I think this year, I'm going to do my own research. Like, there must be camps to do with science-type stuff? Or robotics. Robotics'd be cool. I actually think I'd enjoy an outdoors camps if it wasn't about sport. So maybe there's something about kayaking or rock-climbing. Though maybe not. Maybe my lack of coordination would mess things up there too.

No, I think I'll stick with the sciency stuff. Chances are that the other kids going to those camps would be a bit more like me. Nerdy a bit, if you know what I mean. That'd make everything easier. In fact, if it was robotics or something, I'd feel like I was with people like me and I might even make new friends easier. It'd be nice to be somewhere where I know we'll be doing stuff I'm good at. I just need to persuade mum to let me do something where I'll shine.

As imagined by David Coleman

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