Yesterday, we invited all our first-time campers who arrived on Sunday to our home for milk, cookies and questions.
We know that the first days at a new camp can be a little disorienting and we strive to do everything in our power to let our campers know that they are safe, loved and on the edge of a great adventure.
Inviting the campers to the house is part of that effort. We like the fact that the campers come into the living room of our home. We want them to feel like they are part of our family in a very tangible way.
We also give them a chance to ask any questions that they might have. We want them to feel comfortable asking whatever comes to mind knowing that everyone else is a first year too.
We generally get similar questions.
- Q: How long has camp been here? A: This is our 51st
- Q: Why did you call it Camp Champions? A: It was named before we bought it, but we assume they thought “Champions” was better than “Quitters” or “Smelly Puppy”.
- Q: What are Trojan-Spartan games? A: We will have two camp-wide competitions between the Trojans and Spartans. Each of you will be in one of the teams.
- Q: When do we learn our tribe? A: This Saturday night.
- Q: How is our tribe decided for us? A: The fates are wise. Please know that whatever tribe you end with is the one you are meant to be in.
- Q: Is Dodger (the camp Bassett Hound) a boy or girl dog? A: A girl dog.
- Q: How old is Dodger Ma’am? A: 4 years old. [Note: this answer is always met by campers saying “Awwwww”. I suspect if we said that Dodger Ma’am as 87, they would respond with “AWWWW”.]
- Q: Why is everyone “Sir” and “Ma’am”? A: Because one of our “4 R’s” is Respect. Saying “Ma’am” or “Sir” after a name is a simple reminder that everyone is worthy of respect.
You get the picture.
Yesterday, however, the new boy campers joined us after the girls and asked questions we had never heard before – each about the décor in our home:
- Q: Is the couch you are on the same one that you sat on during your webinar? A: Why . . . yes. Yes it is. You are such an observant young man (he was 11). I am not sure I have ever been ask a question about furniture before.
- Q: Why do you have two different types of chairs in your dining room? A: Because we needed extra chairs when we have our extended family here. Any questions about activities?
- Q: Where did you get that kimono? A: That is not a kimono, its a robe from China. Are you sure you do not have any questions about camp?!?
- Q: Are those panels so that people can change clothes or just for decoration? A: I think it is just decorative. Uh, guys – we are flattered that you are interested in our living room, but does anyone want to know something about Trojan-Spartan games?
- Q: What are Trojan-Spartan games? A: I am so glad you asked!!
At that moment, it became a normal Q and A session.
Actually, I make this exchange seem odd for comic effect, but it actually shows that people tend to have their questions inspired by whatever they just heard about. If we started to talk about food, most of the next questions would be food related.
But I will say I will always appreciate the Dudes of Décor from Term 4!