Sometimes camp is a huge spectacle: big inflatables, crazy camp-wide activities, surprise events. As I wrote a few days ago, Torchlight on Dance Night is loud and silly and – well – bigger than life.


But the most powerful moments are often the smaller happenings: the conversation at night between three friends, learning the names of stars, sharing an inside joke with a new friend.


I am particularly fond of small acts of kindness. Last night, we had a lovely example.


As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the last night was Trojan Spartan Initiation. I wrote a blog about this ritual 3 weeks ago ( that describes it. It is one of those huge spectacles that I mention above.


As we finished the initiation last night, a Division Leader came up to us with a request: “One of my campers is in the Health Center. He has a stomach bug, so he missed the initiation. Can we do something for him?”


We quickly ran to find 7 counselors and Senior Campers to be fire bearers. Robbie Sir (painted as the Initiator), Greg Sir (as the host) and JB Sir (as the drum master) joined the fire bearers and me to create a private initiation for our solo 7 year-old.


You might think that he would have been overwhelmed, but he thought the event was a grand adventuer. He was delighted to be a Spartan “even though my mom was a Trojan”. I asked him if he wanted to hear the Trojan-Spartan legend. He said yes. I asked if he wanted the long or short version. He wanted to hear it all.


This extra ritual probably took 20 minutes to orchestrate, but it will be a great memory for our little Spartan.


When your campers return home, be sure to ask about the small moments as well as the big ones. They were my favorite as a young boy. I suspect that it will be the same for your kiddo.


Steve Sir