Every summer on Wheels, the staff would split into girls and boys and do evening activities on our own. The goal was to bond the genders together and create a good group dynamic. One summer I was privy to a group with an insanely disproportionate ratio of 24 females and 7 males. The problem with boys and girls nights was that for the guys, every night was a boys night. The seven of them only took up two hotel rooms, and when those rooms had connecting doors they all got to hang out together. The gender nights were continued out of jealousy from the girls, who wished they were as close as that summer's guys.
For the girls, these nights meant a lot more. There was notable jealousy of how close the boys were, so we tried a couple of these activities. Since the guys were used to this kind of thing we had a low key night. Our allotted budget was used to order to movie X-Men 2 on my hotel television and make iron on t-shirts with out nicknames. Towards the end of the movie, I realized that it was well over two hours long. During the climactic battle scene there was a knock on the door.
It was one of the female staff members – easily the stricter of the two. I looked at the clock and noticed it was nearly 11:15, past the previously discussed curfew. The girl’s activity must have already ended and they were already put in their rooms. Instead of admitting I was wrong and telling this staff person that the guys were still in my room I thought it would be best to try and shoe her away. I hid all of the guys in the bathroom and told them not to make a sound or move until I opened the door.
There were many faults to this plan. What if she had to use the bathroom? What if they made noise? What if she was bringing me to a meeting of some kind and I never told them they could leave?
The plan of shoeing her away quickly went out the window when she walked right in to my room and sat down on the bed. She wanted to know how the boy’s night event went and proceeded to tell me about how theirs went. The whole time I nervously eyed the clock.
All the while three of the guys stood in the bathtub and the other four were sitting on the tile floor. At one point, one of them made motions like they had to sneeze. Working like a well oiled team, the guy closest to the tissues passed one down and reached the sneezer before he could make a noise.
I was finally able to break free when the group leader called us to come to our nightly staff meeting. I let her go first, saying I had to go to the bathroom, watching to make sure she left the hall. The two rooms of guys were only a few down the hall, but if she had seen them out of their rooms it would have looked bad. Most of the guys were just upset to have missed the end of the movie, so I recounted it as best I could – the dam explodes, the Phoenix saga sort of begins and so on.
We never really discussed it openly as to not alienate the female staff member, who some of the kids already viewed as a bit of a stick in the mud. The other staff got a bit of a kick out of it and if the goal was to further the bond between the boys, then mission accomplished.