July 1, 2011
My mind is flitting about right now thinking random thoughts. Here is an assortment of “Things Steve Sir Loves About Camp”.
You are never “just” good at camp. We tell the campers that “good is on the other side of the “spur. Here we start with great and go from there.
Camp friends are friends forever.
The belief that “corn dog day” should be a national holiday. Some foods inexplicably achieve rarified status. The CC corn dog is such a food. The girls also venerate lemons and powder sugar.
Flag Raising combines respect for our nation with a myriad assortment of random facts. We have “Take Flight” with Activity Director (and airline analyst) Robbie Sir who is teaching us about narrow body and wide body planes. We have “obscure sports” with Jeff Sir. We also learned yesterday that “Gone With the Wind” was published on June 30, 1930. All useless, all delightful.
You can eat a cupcake baked inside an orange.
7 year olds and 16 year olds learn each others’ names, talk to each other and share smiles.
Seeing homesick campers overcome sadness, learn to appreciate camp and know they are loved.
Smiling when your face goes into a birthday cake. Later noticing that all the cake is happily eaten - even those parts that received the aforementioned face.
Dressing like a fool is a badge of honor.
Dances are shared silliness more than social events.
The look on a camper’s face after reaching the top of the wall and overcoming a fear.
Seeing 12 year-old girls attacked by a case of the giggles.
Watching a camper from another country improve his or her English and seeing the cabinmates patiently help.
Trojan/Spartan leaders “painting up”. This has become a true act of commitment and love. The designs can be elaborate. Check out the photos on Monday.
Hearing that a boy’s cabin has introduced a “daily hug quota”.
Knowing that the hug quota is reached by lunch.
Strange camp nicknames. Some that come to mind include Beat Box Sir, Craw Ma’am, Delicious Sir, K-Rob Ma’am, Cowboy Sir, Silagy Ma’am, and Tug Sir.
Having both a Shirley Ma’am and a Shirley Sir and not finding it strange.
Debating how to make the best peanut butter sandwich. I tell the campers to free themselves from the bonds of 2 slices of bread (that is the sandwich the Bread Man WANTS you to eat), and instead embrace the elegance of the single slice “foldover”. I love that this can be a 5 minute debate.
Seeing teens absolutely devoid of phones and knowing that they are text-free. Having them thank us for liberating them from the drama of teen life.
Hearing “Steve Sir” screamed across a field and seeing a sea of waving hands.
Wearing a tuxedo with a kilt for the T-Bone Club.
Seeing the acceptance from Fenway (the Camp Basset Hound) when we dress her up for a dance.
Watching Fenway futilely chase a much faster squirrel to the cheers of campers. Imagining the stories that that squirrels swap that night:
“The ridiculous dog chased me again.” “I let her get a head start.” “I ran kinda slow at first to give her a little hope. Then into the tree!”
Letting 8 year-olds guess my age. I am somewhere between 32 and 83. Not sure how to interpret this.
Having a Man Cave where one 6 year-old raises his hand when I ask “who has a January birthday?” and when I say “who has a February birthday?” and when I say who has a March birthday?”
Switching “gears between the silly to the sublime. We can joke all day long and then become solemn in time for Trojan/Spartan Initiation. By the way, any event acquires extra gravitas when you add tiki torches!
Camper and counselor smiles.
Knowing that campers will return home more confident and capable.
In short, there is a LOT to love about Camp.