June 20, 2016
I love it when campers realize that they have the power to decide if an experience is a blessing or a curse.
I have two examples to share with you.
The first is our youngest campers: the Minis who are 7-9. Last night was their overnight. At dinner time, they walked out to the campsite, which is half a mile away through the woods. Half a mile is quite a long way for little legs, so they were resting as the counselors prepared the campfires.
Suddenly, the skies opened and started to rain hard for 15-20 minutes. No weather forecast had predicted evening rain. We were ready for the rain that came from 3:30-4:30, but this was a rouge cloud that sat over us for a quarter of an hour. It rained hard and disappeared quickly.
So we have the girls outside as it is raining. We know that it will pass soon, but it was uncomfortable while it came down. They got under cover as best they could, but they still got wet.
Their response: to make songs, dances and cheers. Here is a short video that shows their effusive approach to the rain:
The second group is the second year Senior Campers, those that just finished 10th grade. One of their assignments it to do the dishes several times per week (called “service”). When we first started doing this a decade ago, it took them a while to see why we wanted them to do this.
These Senior Campers, however, have come to understand very quickly. I asked them what they thought about service. Here is a summary of their comments:
These insights seem fairly profound to me (except, perhaps, the water fight comment), especially for 16 and 17 year olds. I can think of few gifts more valuable than learning to approach the world with gratitude, humility, a desire to serve and the ability to find joy in the mundane.