June 21, 2018
I posted this article a few weeks ago, but I thought our current families would enjoy it as well.
Each session, the 9th grade girls (cabin 7-11) each write a letter to camp that they read during the second Vespers.
These letters are always positive and fun. I, however, do not get to hear them as I am on the boys’ side talking about warriors and worriers. Sometimes, Susie Ma’am will share a few with me later in the week.
This 7-11 group really outdid themselves. Each one has a quote or an insight that show maturity and gratitude. Rather than quote from multiple letters, I will share a paragraph from one of them.
“Camp is a place where you can be yourself and forget about your stress from the real world and live in the moment. Seven years ago, I had no idea that camp would become such a huge part of my life. In the midst of all the fun and excitement, camp really changes you for the better. It gave me a different perspective about life that makes me a more interesting person every day. I am insanely grateful that I can come here each year knowing that no matter how old I am, I will still learn new and important things. When I am asked what we do for three weeks, I say, “everything!” I can’t explain to people how camp makes social media seem irrelevant and that all that matters here is who I am surrounded by. Real relationships are created here. I live states away and still I’ve never felt more connected to a group of people. Few people in the world can leave home, their parents, their phones, and air conditioning to come to a place where they truly discover themselves.”
I could break this quote down, but I do not think it needs any help – she did a great job of sharing her thoughts about camp. I am especially excited to hear her talk about the joys of being without social media. She (and her cabinmates that have learned the same lesson) will benefit mightily from understanding that they own their phones and not the other way around.
While this is a letter written by a 9th grade young woman, it helps describe things that are happening for all campers. Everyone is making real friendships without technological enhancement while having fun at camp. Everyone is becoming more resilient and independent.
Of course, if you have a younger camper, you will not get this level of reflection, but please know that they are growing in confidence and capability as well. Even if they only want to talk about water toys, pickleball or ceramics, you should know that they are a little more mature when they return home.
PS The photo above is the oldest Senior Campers at their final banquet. I am a little mad that a few of them spotted me taking the photo. I wanted to show you 16 young adult who are 17-18 who were blissfully chatting without any mobile phones. When I mentioned that, they simply said, “We love that!!”