July 17, 2021
Once or twice a summer, we like the throw an unexpected wrinkle to our programming. Doing so is fun for the campers, but it also provides extra variety for our counselors.
One such wrinkle is “water torchlight”. We flood the pit of the Coliseum with water, ask everyone to wear their swimsuits and we basically splash our way through our evening tradition.
Which reminds me of one of the things that makes “camp” different from most careers: being silly is a core competency.
In many ways, camp is like any other career. Professionalism is needed. Hiring great people is critical. Training is essential. Planning is important.
But just being silly is not generally valued in most places.
I was not asked to be silly at Goldman Sachs.
Now, we find ourselves in a place where splashing is part of the plan. A kilt or a tiger costume is business attire. It is helpful to maintain a fresh arsenal of bad jokes.
Frankly, it took me a while to become comfortable being silly. I was never the class clown. If anything, I took myself too seriously . . . except when at camp.
I wonder if that is one of the reasons that I found myself drawn back to the world of camp – I needed to embrace my inner silliness.
Before I leave, I want to also look at this picture and stress that silly does NOT have to be coordinated or on-beat. The campers in this picture, the campers are performing the “Macarena”.
“But Steve, no two people seem to be doing the same move at the same time.”
Yup. Silly is not synchronized.