July 23, 2021
The last day of any session is an odd experience. After two or three weeks with the same people, you see strong friendships and a deep comfort with camp and the rhythms. You see a few campers arriving late to activities to capture a few extra moments with friends from other groups. Campers do out of their way to say “hi” whenever they see you.
And you see no technology at all.
Of course, we never see any tech, but early in each session it seems like many of the campers are adjusting to the loss of a critical appendage. For those of us who grew up before smart phones, I think we miss some of the important functions that they provide.
One such function is the ability to act like something important just happened on your phone if you encounter an awkward social moment. If you are talking with someone new and realize you have nothing to say, it is always an option to reach for the phone and stare intently at it as if an important notification just came through.
Another function is boredom eradication. If a person is bored, they are one trip to Tik Tok, Instagram or YouTube away from a distraction. But we are meant to have moments of inactivity, even boredom, and learn how to find our own amusement.
Campers who are new to camp often miss these two functions as well as the more obvious ability to contact “friends” and access information. Their withdrawal creates a little nervous energy and uncertainty.
But after 2-3 weeks, the withdrawal is gone, and they settle into a more Zen-like state.
OK. Bad word choice. There is almost nothing Zen-like about a 12 year-old. But they are more centered, less edgy. They just seem more relaxed.
As a result, these last days have moments to treasure.
Today is an odd one. The morning had us packing and preparing for departure. The campers will have time with their Division for one last gathering of their age group. The afternoon are the last two hours of activities, and we will have a Final Ceremony tonight, complete with awards, a term video and fireworks.
Tomorrow, we will sadly bid our community adieu. Thank you so much for sharing them!
PS I feel a need to update you on the Little League boys who have been reporting on their various activities. You remember them – they are the ones that took apart the Eiffel Tower (and put it back together) as well as “extincting” the world’s bird population.
I need to report that they have not been idle. Seeing the complete delight that their exploits create for Ali Ma’am, they have reported that the last week included the following:
They destroyed the Great Wall of China. This was helpful because . . . . . . They took all the animals in the world to China.
They removed Africa. Gone. Just take that off your globe.
They asked Ali Ma’am, “Where were you born?” She replied, “Long Island.” “We destroyed it!” “Really? Do you even know where Long Island is?” After a brief hesitation, a clever lad simply explained, “We destroyed all the long islands!”