July 22, 2018
I shared this article 2 weeks ago, but I thought our newest parents might enjoy reading it as well.
Sometimes, I struggle to think of the right topic to write about. After 7 straight days of blogging, the well can run a little dry.
But occasionally, something will make writing incredibly easy.
The letter I am attaching was such a gift. The woman who wrote this has been a camper, Senior Camper and counselor for 9 summers. She worked earlier this summer until she left to attend West Point where she will play lacrosse. If you cannot read the photo, please let me transcribe it. [Please note that while it is addressed to Susie Ma’am and me, I absolutely know that she is writing to camp more than us as individuals]:
Dear Steve Sir and Susie Ma’am,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you. As Leah Ma’am spoke about “peak moments” last Wednesday, I realized that for me, many of these moments have come at camp. When I reflect on these moments, I am overwhelmed with gratitude: after serving as a counselor, I now understand the intentionality behind creating them. For nine years, people (y’all, counselors, senior campers, everyone) helped me create a worldview that was based on these peaks. I’ve learned to sort challenges as opportunities and sought them out instead of shying away, all because this is the formula that has allowed me to succeed at camp. Working this summer has been the greatest privilege. The connections I have formed with my campers and other counselors have been incredibly rewarding in that I know now how I can impact the lives of starfish/my girls.”
[Note: Susie Ma’am tells the story about the person who throws stranded starfish back into the ocean after a major storm. A passerby points out that she cannot save all of them. “But I can save this one and it means the world to it”. Susie Ma’am]
“I am so proud to have been a part of creating the magic I was (and am still) in awe of with such an outstanding group of people. My childhood has been defined by its peaks here at camp. I’m by no means an adult, but as I transition into something new, I know my self-belief has almost entirely been sculpted here. I am excited to serve [in the military], but I want y’all to know that I truly learned what service means at Camp Champions and that will inspire me every day. I can’t thank you enough for your part in crafting a woman I’m proud of becoming.
Love, [Camper’s name]”
She called today from West Point and told us about an exercise in which cadets were asked to describe a “highly functional team” to other cadets. The cadets then chose the best example that they heard. They selected her description of being a counselor this summer at camp. She talked about our non-drinking honor code and that counselors are all members of an “army of the willing” that have chosen a difficult but worthy path to serve children.
Her letter and call have added a little extra fuel to my tank. I knew that we had an excellent team serving your children, but I am thrilled that West Point seems to agree!