August 10, 2015
Tonight featured yet another once-a-summer event: the Luau. Rather than eat in the Fillin Station (our dining hall) or have a picnic next to the Fillin Station, we fed the entire camp next to the lake. Clothed in grass skirts, leis and fun shirts, we listened to ukulele music and enjoyed a picturesque evening.We added a series of events, including the greased watermelon relay, a limbo competition, a hula hoop contest and several piñatas (yes, I am aware that piñatas are not even slightly Hawaiian, but they are fun).
While I was there chatting with campers and enjoying the festivities, I looked across our cove. The luau and all of our campers were on the east side of the cove and the opposite side looked lonely yet stunning. Every few days, I will have a moment that strikes me as simply lovely. Typically, it is not something massive or awe-inspiring, but something that is just nice.
One day, it was a group of girls a playing “Little Sally Walker” in a circle after dinner. The participants were as young as 8, but included girls 10, 12 14 and some counselors. I am not sure where else you can see people of such diverse ages simply enjoying free play and each other’s company (all, of course, completely tech free - not a phone, laptop or computer in sight). Sadly, I did not have my camera for that one.
Another time, I watched the face of a 10 year-old boy as he rang the bell at the top of the climbing wall. He had been struggling with his climb – alternating between fear and ambition – and had been ascending for almost a full hour. The look of triumph coupled with relief was precious. Perhaps that moment of success will build confidence in him that will carry him through many other challenges all year long. Again, I did not have my camera.
Today, however, I had my phone with me so that I could take the shot of the end-of-day light on the kayaks and girls’ cabins. [Note: the irony that I have to carry a phone while others get to go without is not lost on me. Please do not rub it in.] I know that this shot will not win an award, but please consider it just a small gift from camp.
Want more like this? See: http://blog.campchampions.com/benefits-of-free-play-at-summer-camp; http://blog.campchampions.com/how-to-help-kids-build-self-confidence