Have you heard the news? Greystone is adopting a brand new Honor Code this summer, and we are excited to tell you all about it!
If you’re a long-time Greystoner, you may be wondering why we need an Honor Code when we already talk about the Secret of Greystone (unselfishness), focus on the Four-Fold Philosophy (growing spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially), and also strive to live out the words in the Honor Council pledge (sincerity, courage, honesty, kindness, and truth). It surely sounds like we already have a LOT to focus on at camp. What is the need for a new Honor Code?
While we plan to continue growing and learning about these wonderful qualities we already talk about at camp, our main goal in creating an Honor Code is to give campers and staff an easy-to-understand, easy-to-put-into-practice statement that sums up what we believe at camp. While it is great to think about how you can work on your physical growth, or how the concept of courage applies to your life, we also wanted something more concrete that explains the heart of who we are. We wanted to simplify it for campers of all ages, so that each camper will be able to understand the phrases and apply them in a very practical way.
So, after months of planning and talking, editing and rewriting, we came up with our brand new Honor Code, which we will be rolling out to all of our campers in 2021:
“I commit to showing kindness, seeing the good, and taking ownership of what I do. This is how I will have fun, make friends, and glorify God both in this place and in the world.”
This is a big one! Kindness is currency at camp, and if every camper worked on showing kindness in the way she interacts with her fellow campers (in her words, in her actions, in her thoughts), our camp community would be an amazing place. We already talk about kindness ALL THE TIME at camp, but we will be specifically showing girls how to apply the idea of being kind in all areas of the camp experience this summer.
Here’s an example to explain this one: let’s say a camper comes back to her cabin and finds that her bunkmate has left a wet towel and dirty clothes on her bed. It’s easy to get frustrated (who wants wet and dirty things on your sheets?!), but by seeing the good in all circumstances, we want our campers to realize that most actions are not made in ill will. In this situation, the camper who left her things probably was in a rush or just wasn’t thinking. Seeing the good changes your perspective, allows you to offer grace, and is a wonderful way to live at camp!
We are really excited about this part! So many times it is easy to pass the blame or not speak up on behalf of your actions or the actions of someone else. We want the girls to know that when you make a choice, it has natural consequences (we all know this!); however, we want girls to take it a step further so that they can:
While we already practice this at camp in many ways, putting it into a phrase the girls can understand will be extremely helpful this summer!
Throughout the summer, we hear girls say something to the effect of: “Why do I want to be a Christian? It seems like it is only limiting what I can do and it isn’t any fun!” We believe the exact opposite, and throughout the summer, we help girls to understand this. With our Honor Code, we want to show girls that by smiling at a stranger, helping someone who can’t figure out where to go, assuming that everyone has good intentions, learning to stand up for what you believe, and asking forgiveness when you screw up…ALL of these are ways you’re going to thrive and have so much fun in life! Your friendships will be genuine, you can trust those around you, and you can work through conflict; life is much more FUN when these things are in place!
Friendship is a big deal at camp (we are the home of the DMC!), and what better way to find new friends than to show kindness? What better way to help a friendship grow than to see the positive in another person? What better way to overcome a difficult situation in a friendship than to admit to what you can do better and how you can work to improve the situation?
This is the BIGGIE with our entire Honor Code – the whole point of it all! Like everything else we talk about at camp, we strive to honor God and glorify Him with our choices and decisions. When we are showing kindness (a Fruit of the Spirit), seeing the good (“rejoice always…give thanks in all circumstances”), and taking ownership of what you do (“whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord”), we’re able to truly live out those characteristics that God is teaching us.
While we want to see girls growing in these characteristics and qualities at camp, we also want girls to realize that these same characteristics and qualities are so very valuable at home. Girls ask all the time: how can I take home what I am learning at camp? We’ll be teaching and showing campers how to do just that with these specific ideas.
Will we get it right all the time? No! But that’s the whole point – you don’t have to live out our Honor Code perfectly; everyone at camp (from our Directors to our staff to our campers) will be putting each step into practice and learning as we go. We are excited about introducing our new Honor Code to our campers; it is going to be a fantastic summer!