Corn Roast presented us with a perplexing situation. The forecast was for rain, a 100% chance of thunderstorms beginning at 11:00 and ending after 6:00. Tricky forecast when planning a Corn Roast (big outside event with lots of preparations that can’t be moved to other nights). We expected the rain to arrive any minute throughout the morning… but it held off till 2:30 at which point it hit hard. Lots of rain, thunder… and the forecast adjusted accordingly (rain predicted to end at 8:00).
As it turned out, the rain ended at 4:00 and never returned. We were able to have the entire Corn Roast as scheduled and it was amazing. SO MUCH FUN! Sometimes it feels like Camelot around here.
I can’t believe it is Thursday already. I was literally surprised when I looked at my computer screen this morning (I thought it was Tuesday). Perhaps my astonishment arises from the week’s schedule (Do Nothing Day threw me off) or from the remarkably GREAT EPs (Council Fire, Drew and Ellie, Corn Roast). It also might be an emotional time warp that is just a part of life during the summer.
Main Camp is the longest session we offer but it doesn’t feel long enough to me. Not everybody feels this way, but most do. They awake with a smile, delight in the surprises, relish the classes, and cherish the friends. These “fanatics” define our summer, providing an engine of enthusiasm that impacts our expectations. They make camp fly.
Camp is two weeks shorter than it was when I was a boy. Back then it seemed to last forever… this change of perspective might be an effect of age but it might be an effect of programming. We work very hard to structure each week to be a mixture of routine/predictable moments, maintaining beloved traditions, adding unexpected surprises, and sprinkling in some big events… it adds up to a great camp session. Time flies and we grow.
The 4-Fold philosophy influences everything we do at camp… the details of our days are built to encourage this growth. Social growth makes it much easier to walk into a room of strangers and discover a room of friends. Physical growth encourages a healthy body (eating well and exercising) and gives us a proper perspective (our worth is not tied to the way we look). Mental growth spurs curiosity that leads to a lifetime of learning and our positive attitude helps us find the good in all situations. And most importantly, we learn to appreciate and seek spiritual growth in every aspect of life… growth that softens our hearts and fills us with joy.
When our days are marked by this growth, the weeks fly by and we wish it could go on forever.
Two weeks from today your girls will return home. Most are not yet aware of that fact but will come to the realization at some point in the upcoming week. When they grasp the significance, they will double down on their camp experience. They will be more intentional about everything. Classes, Meals, DMCs, EPs, Morning Assemblies, Cabin Devos, Tuck-ins… everything will assume greater weight because they better understand what each thing means, how much they will miss it when it is gone.
It is hard to describe. Perhaps it was said best by Heather Brown, a first-year counselor about 30 years ago. I will end with her quote from a letter written to a friend at UVA when trying to describe why she loved camp. I assume that you have not read it in a while. Always nice to be reminded:
“All I know is that this place is pure delight – a miracle in the mountains. The days are the closest thing to heaven I can imagine. The children are happy and healthy; they laugh and actually roll down the hills for fun. They sing in the Dining Hall and climb up the apple trees to pick the apples and feed them to the horses and then to themselves. They have big eyes and small hands. They get in trouble for playing their little girl tricks. When I see them dancing, I am shown that a little girl is the most beautiful of all creations. They blush and learn to be ladies. They put their napkins in their laps and still catch frogs in the afternoon. They have such talent and goodness in them. Christ shines in their smiles and in their hugs.”