June 6, 2018
We have posted a couple of blogs already, so I will keep this one short.
Every session, Susie Ma’am and I meet with each cabin individually for an hour of snacks and sharing. The girls do “Friendship Games” with Susie Ma’am while the boys join me for Man Cave.
In Man Cave, I generally ask the boys to build something with legos that relates to camp. If the campers are younger, they will build of model of whatever they like the most at camp – generally an activity like water toys or the Pirate Ship. The older guys will do something deeper, like the model of how the ideal cabin will interact with each other. [Note: you might think that the 13 or 14 year olds would be too sophisticated for legos, I know I did. It turns out that they have just as much fun as the other campers. Building the models gives them a chance to think about what they value and enables them to come up with rich answers. I am no longer surprised to have a 13 year-old declare that the best cabin is the one “that helps me know when I am wrong while still accepting me” or “that finds something to laugh at even when we lose”.]
In Friendship games, Susie Ma’am gets campers to randomly pair up and find some unusual commonality between them. For example, they might discover that they both have the same middle name or that they have 2 cats and one dog. During their dicsussions, Susie Ma’am will accumulate some fun comments. Here are three:
Fun with vocabulary
She challenged the girls to list something about themselves that they love (an important exercise that some girls do too rarely). Usually, they will start with physical attributes (“I like my hair”), but they soon go to more important attributes. “I am empathetic” or “I like to dance like no one is watching.” But our favorite yesterday was the following from an 11 year-old: “I am not an egoist”.
“What’s en egoist?”
“How can you not know that? It was on my spelling test two weeks ago!”
“That was school! I do not know need to know that here.”
“Well, an egoist is a self-absorbed person. But none of us in our cabin is one of those.”
Hug me, but be careful
An 8 year-old bounded into the house for Friendship Games with her arms wide open. “Susie Ma’am – I want a hug!”
As Susie Ma’am approached, she then held up a hand and issued this warning, “You will need to be very careful. I drank a lot of water at breakfast and I do not want to spray it over you!”
Susie Ma’am appreciated her commitment to hydration and hugged very lightly.
I am not sure that means what you think it means
Today’s winner was a 9 year old that was listing her best attribute.
“I think what makes me special is that I am immoral.”
“Can you please repeat that?”
“I am immoral. That makes me special.”
“Hmmm”, Susie Ma’am replied. “Could you help us out and define that word for us?”
“Yes ma’am. I always think a LOT about things before I do them. You know, I am immoral.”
“That is a lovely gift, but the wrong word. Lets go with ‘thoughtful’”.
Susie Ma’am remains unsure what word she was shooting for, but is delighted to know we have a thinker and not a anarchist!