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Some things just bring out your inner child.

Normally, teenagers want to embrace their maturity. They want their parents to see them as burgeoning adults, grown-ups on the cusp of complete world conquest.

But occasionally, something ignites their inner 8-year old.

Apparently, decorating cookies is such a source of ignition.

My older sister is an enthusiastic baker and highly skilled decorator. When she volunteered to conduct decorating clinics, we thought that it would be a lovely distraction for our youngest campers.

We were certainly correct about that, but something odd happened as we offered the clinics:

The campers who just recently finished 9th grade started to make detours to see what was happening. Detours became more frequent and stronger. I think I could best describe them as “orbiting”.

Two weeks ago, 4 bolder 9th grade young men took the next step.

It was gallant and chivalrous.

“We were wondering, do you need any help?”

I know what you are thinking, what a selfless sense of volunteerism.

My sister, the mother of two fully grown adults, knew what they were really saying and was also flattered.

“By help, do you mean perhaps help decorating the cookies?”

“Yes ma’am. We would be willing to do that.”

Yesterday, she has returned for another visit, so we decided to ask her a special favor – how would you like to add 2 clinics; one for 9th grade boys and one for 9th grade girls? She asked me how many kiddos that would entail. I sheepishly replied 48.

She happily said yes.

As a result, we got the chance to see our sophisticated, mature, ready-to-drive teens all blissfully apply frosting and make designs. One of my favorite moments was a guy who put too much frosting on his cookies. By “too much”, I mean that the cookie was physically incapable of containing the icing as it flowed down his hand – all to his playful delight.

Almost daily, I am impressed with the maturity and desire to contribute to camp that these teens provide. They help camp operate. They embrace chores. They learn to lead.

But I also love seeing them – oh so briefly – resemble the campers that I saw 5-7 years ago.

Steve Sir