Dear Parents & Friends,
As I write, all of Main Camp is playing a game that has everyone pursuing colors of the rainbow and the pot of gold at the end. Six colors have to be gathered from counselors wearing one of the colors who paint a dab of paint on each cabin member’s arm and this should be easy…, but it’s not because there are SIT’s running around in tye dye shirts that if they tag any member of your cabin you loose one color. And then there are the erasers, wearing white who take all of your colors. There’s lots of running around but you must stay with your cabin group and counselors. For all their hard work there has to be a reward and yes there is a bowl of gold waiting at the end. Their bowl of gold will be ice cream for everyone. My window at my desk is filled with the scene of half of Mountainside playing games on the gatehouse green and the other half is down at the farm visiting there. They will switch tomorrow evening.
30 minutes later…. Everyone is quite happy despite a few bee stings during the game. Ice cream can heal most anything at camp. We had a couple of raspberries from mountain biking today and after a quick clean up and mending some of the scrapes out came the popsicle from the medical team to calm the nerves settle the emotions. It works most every time. We love rewards for our triumphs and our pain. These campers were entitled to some treats tonight because they played hard. The evenings at camp are a lot of fun because the temperature drops and the sky slowly reveals its state of dozing off into a dreamland of colors. The combination of our backdrop of mountains and the evening sky calms the natives and brings a great ending to each day. Our pasture view is our version of the western big sky and each night it’s different. We who live here take it for granted sometimes and we shouldn’t. That sometimes goes for a lot of things in life that we’re used to seeing and experiencing.
Take our fixture of Debbie, for example. She’s been at camp for over 35 years and plays beautiful piano. She also accompanies everything that goes on while we’re in the Lodge for any camp wide event there. Many may not know that she’s visually impaired and can’t see anything but the brightest light. She listens intently to what is happening at the time and plays a musical background description for anything and all. There are sound effects and musical theme’s that pertain to what the moment and scene brings. Today during sign-up skits a staff member was talking about signing up for the Tajar Times (our camp newspaper). Debbie was playing like a teletype machine but in a musical way. I don’t know if any campers or staff heard it but it’s so Debbie and she does this all the time. Her notes just float out of the piano and around the Lodge and hopefully some of the staff and campers gather it in. You will see her at the piano on closing day. Just listen and hear her talents.
As camp keeps running, Anne and I have our other lives that keep running too. Today I had a dentist appointment at 8:00 this morning and while driving, I was listening to NPR about the new Pixar movie called “Inside Out”. It sounds like another success story for Pixar and if I can capture this in a few words, it’s about the life of an adolescent 11 year old girl with the story taking place mostly in her head. What happens to her on the outside is fairly normal, but inside her head there’s a whole different dialogue going on with her emotions who are brought to life in the movie. We actually see this everyday here at camp. This is especially true on Mountainside and in some of our older Brookside girl’s cabins. I watched a trailer earlier today and it looks great. It’s one of those movies that’s probably as much for the adults as it is for the children.
I think camp is much the same way. We’re here first and foremost for the children and we see so many benefits gained from their many camp experiences. As adults we also gain from these experiences and are taught some valuable lessons along the way. Camp is a fun and rewarding place to be. Sure it has its challenges and we see those every day as well. When all is said and done it’s just a great experience for all involved. Camp does children a world of good and it’s not too bad for us big kids either. I’m thankful for the creativity of Pixar and what they bring to the table. I’m more thankful for you parents who share your children each summer and also my staff who are working with all those emotions and little personalities. Take your children to see this movie when they arrive home and stayed tuned to our stories from life at camp.