This past week was Vacation Bible Camp at our church and I think I am still recovering. I've helped with this camp almost every year since we moved here and every year its a great week, but tiring. I enjoy volunteering and its not a hard job, but it is exhausting. Every year it puzzles me more and more why this camp kicks my ass. It's 3 hours a day for a week. Just 3 hours a day. Three hours of me merely herding my assigned group of kids around from one activity to the next. It seems simple enough. But this is the one week each year where I actually need an afternoon nap and I'm falling asleep before 10pm. I don't get it.
During the school year when my preschooler was in school for just under 3 hours, I felt like I did far more exhausting things in that time period. I got groceries, went to the gym, and got a run in before picking my preschooler up. And then I continued on with my afternoon herding my two kids around without feeling like I got hit by a truck that morning. So, why is herding a few extra kids around a very structured camp for the morning so tough?
Someone at the camp last year used the term "herding cats", and I agree with this description. There were a few times throughout the week that I felt like all eight kids in my group were running in different directions away from where I wanted them to be. Cats don't come when you call them. Is this what its like for teachers every day? Are my kids' teachers herding cats every school day of the year? And if it is, is this what my kids' teachers feel like at the end of each day? I gave my kids' teachers a lot of credit before, but if this is their exhaustion at the end of every school day, then they are truly under-appreciated.