Everything always seems to happen during lunch time at summer camp. I guess that makes sense because the rest of the time, the kiddos have robots to occupy them. But still, it would’ve been nice to eat in peace.

Yet again, many of the boys were playing 4-square, and as we’ve discussed it can be a recipe for disaster. I was actually playing with them at this point, which is fun until they all gang up on me to get me out every time, but it usually helps mitigate disputes. But it only takes one kid to ruin it all.

Jacktopus (clearly not his real name) was in the “king” position, which in 4-square means that he got to make the rules. He does, however, have to follow his own rules, a fact that is quite unwelcome to the king.  So after holding down the “king” position for a few minutes, which is a long time in this game, Jacktopus had two misserves in a row, which meant that he was out.  Unfortunately, he didn’t see the second serve as outside the lines, while literally everyone else playing did. Including me. Jacktopus refused to go out, so like a responsible adult I tried to have a reasonable conversation with him. Majority wins, I’m sorry you didn’t see it but everyone else did, it’s just a game, you’ll have another chance to be king, blah blah blah. But if I learned one thing this summer, it’s that kids are not rational. At all.

He refused to move out of the square, meaning that no one else could play either.  The other boys moved to a different part of the blacktop so they could continue playing, but Jacktopus ran over there as well and wouldn’t let them play. He also held the ball and wouldn’t let go so that they couldn’t use it, and then punted it across the blacktop. Like I said, totally irrational.

At this point I had a mass of frustrated kids yelling at him and yelling at me and it was a total mess. I sent everyone to the playground to play tag, except for Jacktopus who got to come hang out with me for a while. What a treat. No one likes that kid.