Our Christmas meal was a resounding success. Over 50 people sat down to a full Christmas dinner with turkey and trimmings, followed by mince pies, Christmas Cake and Kay’s centrepiece, the Christmas bomb. The atmosphere was buzzing though it has to be one of the most random evenings we have ever had on the campsite. Listening to 50 people singing Slade’s ‘It’s Christmas’ on 25th August was unforgettable. So much so, that we’ve officially declared it a Moulin Fort tradition and some people are already planning their holidays around our ‘Christmas Do’ on 25th August next year!
If you’re wondering how the whole Christmas thing came about … it was all down to some staff silliness in the witching hour. Between 18-19h in the kitchen when we are sometimes rushed off our feet with orders already, and other nights, there’s nothing happening until almost 8 o’clock. Well, one such evening mid-August, 7 of us were watching one takeaway pizza cook with no other orders on the board. And needless to say, we were a little bored! “Hey, it’s nearly 4 months to Christmas,” someone said. “We should do a Christmas dinner that night!” laughed someone else. “We could do a Christmas Carols Hidden Talents night,” said another. We all laughed. “No, seriously, that would be really funny…” and so the idea was born!
We have a good laugh in the kitchen most evenings. It’s unbelievably hot, can be intense and quite stressful at times, but it’s the one place where we really work together as a team. The other roles – Reception, pool, washblocks, is more a ‘passing the baton’ kind of team where the harder you work, the better it is for your colleagues. But work in the kitchen and bar in the evenings can be more unifying and those who show their willingness to work hard certainly seem to get more out of their summer here.
Every year, we collect together a miscellaneous group of people of varying ages and nationalities and our mission is to get them to work together in a team. Some have worked for us before, some are ‘newbies’; some work the whole season, others as little as 7 weeks. And somehow, we have to motivate them to best represent the campsite and ensure a good holiday location for our campers. They are driven by different things: improving their language skills, meeting new people, getting work experience, earning money, sometimes just filling in a gap until they find a proper job … How do we measure our success in uniting this diverse group? Well, compliments from our campers help as do nice comments in our guest book. And at the end of the season, we hope that they all leave having achieved some of their personal objectives and having contributed towards a successful season for us… Sometimes it doesn’t work out, mostly it does and we’re happy to feel that we make a difference…
We’re nonetheless pleased to find ourselves in September but with a greatly reduced team (ie just Mick and Cath) as we feel like the campsite is starting to ‘belong’ to us again. And our wonderful September campers are rallying around to help out with various tasks over the next few weeks. Some have even brought their own secateurs. Thank you – we hope you know how much we appreciate your support!
Our girls are back to school this week. The summer does seem to have flown by and it’s now less than 2 weeks before Rebecca leaves for Italy and a month until Danielle goes to Germany. It will be a strange winter indeed for Melanie. We don’t know if she’s looking forward to or dreading her sisters’ absence!
Next update mid-September … in between times, we have Ian Acoustic on 4th September; the Starman on 10th , another Hidden Talents and the vendanges on 19th ….(weather permitting)