August 10, 2011
It is midnight and I am just now sitting down to write, so I will keep it brief.
Before I go further, I want to share the picture I have attached to this blog. The Senior Camper boys spent 4-5 hours last night creating this spaceship. It had an air-horn, lights and fake rockets. They looked like 6 year-olds who had just put together a challenging Lego set.
Back to the blog.
I love the last days of camp, but they also create some sadness.
I love the passion of the counselors as they strive to help your children grow. I appreciate all the skills they have acquired over the past 3 months that helps make their desire to impact kids even more possible. I love watching a group of 18-23 year-olds experience joy, connection and love all without electronic devices, parties or any of the other distractions that are often too important to their age group.
I love watching the campers who showed trepidation last week (or earlier this week) swagger around camp like pros. I marvel at the depth of the friendships. I think camp friendships develop so rapidly and are so strong because of their immersive aspect. At school, you can adopt a persona that “fits in”. The problem is 1) this requires great energy and 2) how do you know if other people like you or your persona? At camp, you cannot wear a mask or adopt a persona for 16 hours a day for 1-2 weeks. As a result, you are left being yourself . . . and you are loved and accepted for it. At camp, other people see, and accept, the true you.
The sadness comes from the reality that camp ends very soon. We have just 2 full days of camp. Jonathan Shirley often comments that Camp Champions does not exist without the people. In the non-summer months, this is just “a place with cool stuff”. But CAMP is the people, the community, the role models, the love.
I do not look forward to camp ending.
I say this even though we are about to take a huge trip. Susie Ma’am and I do not get family trips in the summer. We get the rare joy of spending our summers with your children, but we also wish we could take a week or two to travel with our family too (we are smitten with our foursome, so we love spending time with them).
With this in mind, we have decided to spend much of the next year traveling. We will be in Europe for 8 weeks, return for our fall camp reunions and then go to Asia for 11 weeks. Lets be clear, we are not going fancy, we are backpacking, not jet-setting. But we will be doing it as a family. I cannot tell you how excited we are. [BTW, we plan to blog regularly. I will be posting at the Blog at www.campchampions.com. I hope you can check it out.]
You would think that I would be chomping at the bit to start the trip. But I am not.
I am going to miss camp and our counselors and your children.
Having said that, we are excited to see you on Friday (for the Batter Up campers) and Saturday for the 4th termers. It is always fun to see the rest of our camp families!