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Your humble narrator at torchlight.

People sometimes ask, “What are the biggest challenges of being a camp director?”

Of course, some are obvious. Recruiting, hiring and training a staff requires many hours of conversations, travel and hard work.

Improving and maintaining a vast property takes planning, time and resources.

Camper issues can be a challenge. Homesickness requires patience and love. Resolving a cabin conflict needs insight and time, especially since we want to help campers learn how to resolve their own challenges.

Keeping up with the young people is not always easy. As we like to say, “At camp, the days are long, but the weeks are short.” I think they are a little longer if you have crested over 50. Put differently, the energy needed to keep up wanes a bit over time.

But one of the biggest challenges for me personally is remembering to have fun. Being a camp professional is a profound responsibility and occasionally I find myself thinking about the responsibility so much that I miss the giggles, the jokes, or the pure zaniness of camp.

When I realize I am doing this, I give myself a pep talk. Remember the joy. Remember to see the growth.

I have put up a post-it note for myself. It simply reminds me to “Appreciate the Moments”.

Afterall, camp happens in moments:

  • When we see a sunset
  • When we share deep thoughts with a new friend
  • When we talk with cabinmates while gazing at the stars
  • When we reach a goal like climbing the wall or making a fun piece in ceramics.
  • When a super-cool adult laughs at your jokes [Note: almost nothing is more cool than a 19 or 20 year-old that listens to you if you are a kiddo.]

I am reminded of the great line from Forrest Buehler’s Day Off:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Camp is like that. It moves pretty fast and the measure of time is moments, not minutes.

Steve Sir