Rainbow2_1_2015.jpgI 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:


Minis celebrating “Rain Power”


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:

  • I learned that they people who work in the Fillin’ Station are really nice and funny. I used to take people who worked behind the scenes for granted, but now I know better.
  • Makes me realize that going to college is really worth it.
  • It simply feels good to give back. People do stuff for me all the time, but helping others makes me feel good and even more significant.
  • I realized that any job can be made more fun if you simply decide to make it fun. We play some music, we challenge ourselves to finish quicker and we tell stories. Suddenly we realize that we are actually enjoying ourselves. I guess no job is inherently boring or awful.
  • The occasional water fight (with the sprayers) is fun.


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.


Steve Sir