June 14, 2021
Susie Ma’am was talking to a group of young campers. She asked them if they were having fun.
They said yes.
Did they have friends?
Did they like their counselors?
So everything is terrific, right?
One young girl slowly shook her head.
“Linda Ma’am (not her real name), why are you shaking your head?” She asked.
“I am worried.”
Susie Ma’am, now treading lightly, gently asked a follow up question, “I am sure they are fine, but why are you worried?”
“Well”, she hesitated, “They are in Las Vegas and well, you know, nothing good ever happens in Las Vegas.”
Amused and relieved, Susie Ma’am tried a word of encouragement, “Sometimes people win a little money in Las Vegas.”
“You don’t know my parents.”
As a general rule, when your campers are worried about you, that is a good sign.
Before I go, please let me share a thought. I know that the pandemic helped me appreciate many things I took for granted – meals out, large family gatherings, visiting friends without asking whether they have an immunosuppressed loved one.
It has made me appreciate camp more. Even though we ran camp past year, it was quite the challenge. I spent each day obsessing over “vectors of infection” and safety protocols. Just seeing children play and laugh is a joy. But I am wondering what I can do to help make this last. There is a term in psychology called the “hedonic treadmill”. When something goes great for us, we are initially thrilled, but we begin to readjust our expectations to the new reality and then take our newfound blessings for granted.
I am hoping that we can learn how to hold onto the appreciation of the return to normalcy. This summer, we will strive to avoid the hedonic treadmill and appreciate the great moments.
Especially wonderful ones like 10 year-olds opining on Las Vegas!