The reason it didn't bother him as much as it bothered the others from school, he guessed, was because he didn't have anyone to show it to. He didn't have to worry about what his father would say, or how his mother would react, because his father was gone and his mother was off her face too much to care.
Until Camp Greenlake, there was no one who was worth doing well for. There were a few teachers who thought they could bribe him, some who guenuinely liked him, but they never motivated him enough to actually try. At Camp though, he had soon found that the only person he wanted to impress had been a nearly straight A student, who just had a likening for fire. He frowned when Squid had boasted about his marks to the other boys, but had said nothing, keeping himself quiet.
So Squid started giving a standard for the only thing he could out here, his holes. He'd smooth out the edges, and carefully pile his dirt, flattening the bottom when he got to it. When he pulled himself out, he'd smooth away the marks his hands had made, and he'd shine up his shovel carefully with his sleeve, til he could see his reflection, and further back, Zig's reflection.
And usually, after he had shined it enough to see into like a mirror, he would see Zig-Zag's blue eyes watching his reflection and winking slightly, before drawing a breath and continuing to dig. It was that communication that told him he was doing good. So good, in fact, he might get to stay after one day and help out. Maybe when no one else was around. After all, the holes they were digging were a mighty long way from the rest of the camp. No one could hear anything you did out here.