July 1, 2017
The campers often ask me what my favorite activity is.
When I was a boy, I loved marksmanship – both archery and riflery. I had asthma, which made sports hard and I did not think of myself as an artist, making Crafts less appealing.
But I had high levels of focus and could replicate the exact same actions very well, which made me a very good marksman. In fact, I was “Most Outstanding Rifleman in the Raven Division” when I was 8 years old. While this sounds silly, it was a huge confidence booster for me. Oddly enough, this was a fact that I shared with Susie Ma’am when we were dating. In retrospect, I wonder if that might not have seemed like an odd thing to share, but she understood it as part of my personal development.
One of the many things I love about camp is the fact that wide variety of activities means that every camper has some activities he or she shines at and a few that they can work on. In this way, everyone can develop pride and mastery as well as resilience and determination.
When I first started as a camp professional in 1993, I fell in love with water-skiing. Over the years, I became a very competent skier. For years, I would ski every morning before breakfast. But I eventually found that exercising the same muscles every morning was not conducive to my body’s habit of getting older.
I needed a new activity.
I now take the camp yoga class each day. We are lucky to have some exceptional yoga instructors in Marble Falls. Also, Leah Ma’am is a trained instructor. So we offer yoga once a day for the 7th and 8th grade campers.
I have been delighted to see that these classes are not only well-attended (20-30), but that over one-third of attendees are guys.
I enjoy the exercise and the stretching, but I think the location is perhaps the reason I appreciate the class so much. We do not practice yoga in a building. Instead, we use a large, shaded patch of St Augustine grass that is right next to the lake and in the middle of tons of activities.
As a result, the class makes me feels like I am at the center of camp. While we balance and stretch on the grass, we can hear young girls playing on the Summit (the inflatable mountain in the lake), or boys shooting hoops. A game of disk golf will play through our group. Right next to us is the Pirate Ship, so every few minutes, I will hear a camper ring the bell at the top as counselors and campers cheer on.
As I look to the lake, I see groups of sailboats dancing on the water.
In the other direction, I spy a few campers in the reading nooks of the Library.
During camp, the wind blows over the lake and onto us, creating a lovely breeze that is several degrees cooler than it was on the other side of the lake. When we do back bends, I see dragonflies battle for places on branches of the tall cottonwood trees above us.
In short, I feel incredibly connected to camp during these classes.