June 22, 2018
With only a few hours left during our last full day at camp, I feel odd writing a blog. This has been such an awesome session with truly delightful campers that I feel a need to embrace these last hours.
With that in mind, my final blog will be short.
First, we had a spectacular special event last night – Carnival. We had over a dozen separate stations serving food, painting faces, telling fortunes and delivering fun. We have done a version of Carnival every year, but none compared to yesterday. Our full-time team spent a lot of time finding small ways to make it really pop, from outside food vendors to special signs to excellent costumes.
Of course, ultimately, the key to success is the counselors. A particularly good example was the fortune teller booth. The counselors completely decked themselves out as gypsies and embraced the role. At one point, our office manager was taking photos of the booth. After two readings, the counselor looked at her serenely and explained that she must leave, “The reading is private – photography can disturb my connection to the world beyond.”
You have to appreciate a quality method actor.
Second, we had the rare pleasure of hearing our Senior Camper graduates read their mission statements. They recently returned from a 3 day retreat during which they composed a personal statement. In it, they describe their values - the person they will be independent of their profession or geography. We heard some powerful insights. They know life will not always be easy, but they also understand that they have the ability to find joy and meaning in every day. This photo was taken during the banquet we gave them before they shared their mission statements with us.
Third, I am excited to see you parents tomorrow and give you a small glimpse of how camp works. We know you cannot wait to see your progeny, but we also want to give you a feel for the place they have been calling home.
Finally, Susie Ma’am and I want to say “thank you!” for sharing your children with us. Your children are absolutely wonderful and have made our lives more joyous. My non-camp friends often ask me how someone my age can manage the pace of camp. After all, every day is a workday that starts at 7am and ends around 10pm. Susie Ma’am and I do allow ourselves a half-hour nap many days as well as a couple of evenings off, but we are here a lot. So our friends wonder how we do this and stay sane.
The answer is that it is easy to do when you are surrounded by positive people and excitement. Sure, we have the occasional challenge – campers can have conflict or be homesick – but the great moments greatly outnumber the tricky ones. Spending time with your children and their excellent counselors helps keep us young.
Admittedly, when everyone leaves tomorrow, we will have some moments of exhaustion, but we would not change a thing!