8th Grade Lessons
Alternate title for this post: “Things I Learned While Living with 8th Graders This Summer”
For those who might have missed it, I spent my summer leading bike trips for 13 year olds around Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It was a wild and fun and stressful and entertaining summer. I’m sure it will take some time to fully understand the enormity of taking teenagers biking and camping for two weeks at a time (ha!) – but here are some fun things I learned.
♦ I learned that when they say, “I’m hungry” 15 minutes after a meal they really mean, “I want ice cream.”
♦ I learned that unless you set guidelines for buying snacks all they want to purchase are family size bags of chips, candy bars, economy size jars of marshmallow fluff, soda and/or cookies.
♦ I learned that it is not outside the realm of possibility for an adolescent boy on a bike, goofing off (aka: not following directions), to run into a pole (side note: he lived!)
♦ I learned that ripping hermit crabs out of their shells to eat them raw is a thing… and some boys do it (what?!).
♦ I learned that it’s so (SO) much easier to put a stop to inappropriate behavior the first time it happens instead of the third, fourth or fifth time.
♦ I learned that the game mafia (where people are “killed” in the night and townspeople vote on the accused’s innocence) is personal.
♦ I learned that if they can get their hands on Monster, 5 Hour Energy or Redbull, they will!
♦ I learned that they are incredibly picky eaters (particularly one trip) — mac & cheese is the greatest thing ever.
♦ I learned that for the most part – 13 year old girls are WAY more mature than 13 year old boys.
♦ I learned that they love talking about themselves!
♦ I learned that TFTC = Too Frat Too Care (Bahaha!)
♦ I learned that at times they can be alarmingly reasonable.
♦ I learned that they are incredibly connected to/obsessed with their cell phones (we don’t allow them to use phones during the trip).
♦ I learned that a “flatback” is a baseball type hat with a flat bill that is worn backwards — all the California kids are doing it.
♦ I learned who One Direction is… am I old? Ha!
♦ I learned that they LOVE rap songs – the more curse words the better.
♦ I learned that being a teenager right now is hard (maybe it’s always hard?) and really they just want to fit in and be liked. And despite how they may act and react they have dreams and goals for their lives.
I had so much fun. Teenagers are crazy little people and some times very trying…. but mostly they were a pretty cool bunch of kids.