Vespers fire

At breakfast today, I was talking with Greyson Sir, our Letterman division leader. He was a camper for 9 summers, a counselor for 3 and on our Leadership Team for 2. He just finished with a dual honors major from UT (Architecture and Plan II) and is on his way to joining a top architecture firm.

I share these details so that you will realize that her really loves camp is also quite thoughtful about things.

I was asking for suggestions for this blog.

“Tell the parents that every successful cabin is like a campfire.”

“OK,” I replied, “As long as you explain it to me first.”

I really like his answer.

To build a great campfire, you need lots of different things. You need kindling to help get the fire going. You also need a whole array of sticks and branches of different widths. The narrow ones catch fire from the kindling and then help start the thicker ones. The best fires also have large solid logs that will take a long time to catch fire, but keep going longer.

Every camper brings something different to a cabin. Some are extroverts and (as my mom likes to say) are “shot out of a canon”. These campers bring energy and excitement on day one.

They are like the kindling.

But a cabin would burn quickly and go out if everyone is like that all the time. We also value the campers that start a little more calmly, and then become dear friends and leaders.

“Who are the logs?” I asked.

“I always saw my homesick campers as the logs. They take more time to ignite to the joys of camp, but they are such treasures when they finally ignite. Perhaps I think that way because I was a homesick camper as well. It was hard for me at first, so camp meant more to me when I overcame my homesickness.”

As a homesick camper myself, I completely connected with his thought. “Yeah, I am a log!”

Of course, there are some problems with this analogy. For example, kindling burns out rapidly, but our extroverted campers do not.

But I love the idea that everyone brings something to create the flame that is a cabin.

Steve Sir