Hey everyone – Juz here…
Do you like to play games and have fun? Can you cut oranges and cook noodles? Are you able to project your voice over the laughing and screaming of sugar-buzzed beings? Then working with kids is for you!
Our extended stay in Alice Springs meant that I had the opportunity to find some work. After a quick browse on Gumtree, I found an ad for an assistant at a cartooning camp, and thinking about my time at the primary school in Darwin and all my years of drawing at school, I promptly applied and by dinnertime the next day, I had the job.
As far as the position description was concerned, the job was fairly simple – have fun, play games, cut oranges, cook noodles, tidy the hall, chat with parents and supervise children. Piece of cake!
I rocked up nice and early on Monday morning, anticipating a day of fun and laughter but unfortunately, by the time Dave picked me up 6 hours later, I was beyond exhausted. Despite two other assistants present at the camp, the day was disorganised and the kids were so jacked up on sugar that they were difficult to control. The organiser of the camp apologised to all of us for the chaotic day and promised that the rest of the week would be better.
He was right. As we assistants got more confident in our roles, the kids settled in their roles too and there was a perfect harmony between children and supervisors. Music quietened the kids as they learnt how to draw various cartoon characters like Batman, Bender, Popeye and the characters from Adventure Time. Every day was a different fancy dress day and we would give ‘Kingdom money’ for the best dressed. In fact, ‘Kingdom dollars’ were handed out throughout the week for good behaviour and helping out with various activities. By the end of the week, the kids had wads of ‘Kingdom cash’ that they could spend at the Friday market.
The markets were a great way to end the week. Each kid put together a stall – carnival games, cupcakes and cookies, a nail salon or face painting – and set a price for their goods. It was a huge success and I got both my finger nails and toe nails ‘expertly’ painted while enjoying a very gentle shoulder massage. I also scored some hand painted body art, fake tattoos and some delicious lemon slice to take home to Dave.
All in all – it was a great week and I would definitely do it again, but there is no way I could do it as a full time job. The day started at 8:30am and by the time the day ended at around 3:30pm, I’d have to hoist myself into the Troopy. The hourly rate was reasonable and I walked away with over $400 and a cool t-shirt to use for the next cartooning camp.