June 26, 2016
With the new session starting, I thought you might enjoy two stories from campers that left camp on Saturday. While these stories do not directly include your precious ones, they do show some of the cool benefits of camp.
First, let me share a letter that I got yesterday from a parent. This family just finished their second summer and the father wanted to explain what he likes about camp. I especially like his humorous end-of-camp packing questions:
[Start Letter] Good morning Susie Ma’am & Steve Sir,
I wanted to send you both a note and tell you just how absolutely pleased and fulfilled we are with a 2nd summer camp term finished at Camp Champions. [Our son] absolutely loves it there, now that we feel like veterans (after a whopping two summers) we can see that the experiences at your camp have become engrained in him.
As we listen to the various stories he tells us about camp, we recognize that what you write about in your blogs is spot-on. It truly is bittersweet when we pick him up from camp because we know that he could go on and on and on, losing track of time while embracing all that Camp Champions has to offer. Not surprisingly but refreshingly satisfying is witnessing that what he likes most about camp isn’t necessarily the toys (although all those are great and he enjoys them completely), instead he maintained his favorite activity from his first year through his second year was Torchlight. When you write about how the counselors need to give their all and their best for the experience you couldn’t be more right - from Torchlight to the cabin camaraderie we know he’s benefiting from the intangible gift of an adventure. Kuddos on retaining and promoting Ish Sir to the Letterman leader, he was [our son]’s cabin counselor last year and they formed a strong bond. Ish Sir made a strong and positive impact on [our son] last summer which survived throughout the year and continues.
We are almost done with what is becoming an annual tradition, it’s like post camp trivial pursuit, where we ask ourselves questions such as:
Please know, those aren’t critiques - we have become emotionally invested in looking forward to what questions we can add to the list next year!
Our best to you both and to everyone at Camp Champions! [End Letter]
The second story comes from our own 15 year-old daughter Virginia. Because we are focused completely on camp during the summer, our children end up with an enviable array of summer activities. They always attend one session here as well as one other camp. [Note: Susie Ma’am and I think it is important that they have one camp experience when no one knows their parents. They, happily, always insist that Champions is their favorite, though (they are quick to add) in spite of our presence and not because of it.]
On Sunday, she and a friend were flying to Boston to visit Susie Ma’am’s parents. The friend’s mom set the alarm incorrectly and they arrived 2 minutes late for check in and were denied boarding. Virginia calls us to explain the challenge. Susie Ma’am then gave her instructions on who to speak to and what to ask. She explained that they would be going stand-by and might need to fly into a different airport. Susie then said “you’ve got this” and “”we love you” and “call it you have any questions”.
Virginia then owned the problem. Or, as we like to say, she owned the opportunity.
Virginia managed to find the right people and navigate two separate stand-by flights to get her friend and herself to Massachusetts.
Some people might doubt whether a young woman who just turned 15 would be able to address this challenge without a parent, but Virginia insisted, “Mommy and daddy, I’m a camper and know I can be independent. I can figure this out.”
She is now in Cape Cod with two proud parents at Camp Champions.