June 27, 2017
Each evening, every cabin comes together for a “nighty ritual”. These nightly gatherings help cabins grow together, but they do more than that. They give campers a chance to practice communicating important ideas and their listening skills. Also, we design these gatherings to train the campers to focus on finding the positive in each day.
The photo above came from the last nightly ritual last week for our Batter Up campers (those finishing Kindergarten and 1st grade). We asked each of them to write “a word to describe their week at camp”. After they wrote their word (some with some help from counselors – I am fairly certain none could actually spell “resilience”) and we took the picture, they went to the lake.
At the lake, the counselors smiled at them and said, “We will now all throw our stones into the lake. They will sink to the bottom of the cove and you will always be part of Camp Champions.”
Other cabins will talk about high points of their days as well as things that could have done better.
Sometimes, the nightly ritual is in the cabin, but other times they are under the stars or around a small campfire.
For years, each day ended with a big camp-wide event called Torchlight. I will share more about Torchlight in a later blog, but it involves some songs, cheering, announcements and general camp silliness.
We still have torchlight, but we realized we were missing an opportunity to build cabin unity and strengthen friendships. As a result, we introduced the nightly ritual 4 years ago and it has become one of our favorite new traditions.
When your camper comes home, please be sure to asked him or her about the nightly rituals. I bet you will end up with some good stories.