Yoga1.jpgI have come to revel in the small pleasures at camp.


I love seeing the youngest boys charging in unison to dinner in what we call the “Rookie Stampede”. They run led by counselors bearing flags. There is no real reason they are running, but that does not stem their enthusiasm.


I love hearing groups of girls giggling as they walk from one activity to another. I have no idea what they are talking about. Frankly, I suspect that if I were to hear their conversation, I STILL would not fully understand them. But I do know that they are delighting in each other’s company.


One of my favorite simple pleasures is afternoon yoga. At 4:35 most days, we have a yoga class open to our 7th and 8th grade campers, as well as a few of us older guys and gals.


I love the spot where we have yoga. It is right next to the lake under three large cottonwood trees with a large patch of soft St Augustine grass underfoot. There is always a breeze coming off the lake that cools us, but it is still warm enough to get some great stretches in.


Simply put, it is a ideal place for some exercise. I enjoy getting my heart going and stretching out.


But that is not the main reason I love the yoga class. The location is in the middle of camp and provides a rare opportunity to hear the joys and triumphs of camp. During the course of a 45-minute class, I will see or hear virtually all of the following:


  • Campers climbing through the Pirate Ship with counselors cheering and encouraging them. I hear campers ring the top bell (meaning a brave soul has reach the absolute top) and the applause of their friends and instructors echo back.
  • The sounds of sports: basketballs dibbling, pickleballs with their satisfying thunk when hit, discs going into disc golf traps. Along with these sounds, I hear the campers calling for balls, acknowledging good shots and sharing words of support.
  • As I do backbends, I see the dragonflies swarming in the branches of the tree overhead. On a light day, I might see five, on others I might see two dozen. I am not sure why I find this so soothing, but I do.
  • In the lake, campers in kayaks and stand-up paddleboards practice their strokes while holding conversations. Beyond them, a cabin of 10 year-olds climb on the Summit and slide down the far side.
  • I see sailboats dart across the lake. We have four different types of boats and each will appear as I look out.
  • Occasionally, Dodger will join us. Despite being a canine, she is not any good at “downward dog”, but she will lick my face when I am trying to stretch.


In short, the best place to people-watch (and activity watch) also happens to be the place with the breeze and great grass.


Today, we had 30 campers (25 gals and 5 guys) all join the class. When we finished, they were wonderfully appreciative of the teacher. This gratitude completed what was a great hour for me. Not only had the class been delightful, but the campers felt the same way and (even more importantly) took the time to show their appreciation. I also got a chance to sit for a few minutes and catch up with some campers.


So even if I am not graceful, you can see why I look forward to this time every day.


Steve Sir