Todays Morning Assembly Devotion introduced this week’s theme on friendships. “Brother Reid” used an illustration of three water activities to consider three types of friendship we will experience in life.
This is a perfect topic to explore at this stage of the summer. The girls are comfortable with each other, enjoying Shop Dates almost every night, finding themselves connecting in unexpected ways. Reid is suggesting that perhaps one of these connections could become something different than what they have ever experienced. Most of us do not have many “Scuba” friends. Perhaps we do not live in a culture that encourages such relationships, or perhaps we individually decide to protect our hearts from such ‘risky’ friendships. Camp is the kind of place where we can practice developing our snorkeling skills and perhaps even find that we can scuba dive with our friends.
I know someone who is particularly gifted in scuba friendships. Heather Holloman was such a person when she first came to camp as a counselor, and she has remained so in her life as a professor, speaker, and mom. She is so good at scuba friendships, she has written a book on the subject of conversations. It is fabulous, and we recommend it to all of our counselors as they prepare to enter the camp community from the real world. At camp, we talk to each other all day, every day. Those conversations will become tiresome if they are always on the surface; this book provides six ways to connect with another person. They interconnect and lead to genuine scuba moments… they transform friendships.
Last night, Margaret and I enjoyed hosting our 9th graders at our house. We did it right (catered dinner complete with professional waiters, assigned tables for everyone, yard games, video games, house tours, and The Princess Bride playing in the theater). They loved getting dressed up and hanging out with us. They loved just talking in such a relaxed and civilized setting. It provided a moment for those friendships forged over time (some of them have been coming to camp for 10 years) to perhaps grow into something deeper. This is what marks the camp experience of our high schoolers… they discover scuba friendships that will endure for many years to come.
Main Camp has very high re-enrollment numbers. Most girls choose to return every year… until 9th grade. Once they reach those 10th and 11th grade years, the difficulties and obligations of life often overwhelm their ability to return for another year. We understand. We do not take it personally (and we can only accommodate a certain number of campers, so we depend on some girls aging out every year). We choose to honor these girls with this night as a way to express our gratitude for their love of camp. For their many years as campers and to encourage them to continue to shine brightly when they leave this place. It was a great night, and we really enjoyed our time with these precious girls.
Today is another Great Day… Let me share the details: