How do you spell fun at camp? All capitals, right! FUN! I see it everywhere I look and it’s like waves at the shore – some big and some small but always in motion and never ceasing. We do have a lot of fun at camp and it’s a great environment to enjoy being with friends and learning new skills. Each and every day brings new challenges, choices and decisions campers have to make, and relationships that we’re always building and nurturing. I’ve probably said this before, but camp is all about relationships. We, of course, start at the cabin level, program activity areas, table groups and just chance encounter at other times.
Today was one of those relationship days as we started a new Mountainside session. Campers arrived this morning coming from many places far and wide. These 50 strong campers are all about stretching their boundaries as they move through those adolescent years. Those years typically describes the years between 13 and 19 and can be considered the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood. “Adolescence can be a time of both disorientation and discovery”. I like that discovery word. My hope is that the Mountainside campers will discover new aspects of themselves and possibly lock on to some real “camp” values that they can use throughout the years ahead.
On Mountainside, I see the awkwardness of both the girls and the boys here at that age. This magical age as I remember from my own experiences is being bombarded by so many feelings, thoughts, and influences. Making friends at camp is so important because we stress the importance of “Acceptance”, which is one of camps values. Camp is one of the few places where mistakes or hiccups can occur and you get more chances at being a better friend, climber, artist, biker, farmer, or being just you. It’s an environment where you can reach and fail and reach again and again and hopefully you gain. That word “a- gain” can bring about new confidence, learning to explore your limits, feeling support from others and just knowing that you did your best. Resilience and grit build their foundations and these attributes all contribute to steppingstones of being a happy well-adjusted person.
So, what appears as just plain fun grows like our crops on the farm into many varieties of deliciousness and tastes coming from the camp experience. If you have a Mountainsider here with us this session, thank you for sending them. Our wish for them is a safe and sound session full of laughter and adventure. And for those who joined us on Sunday, your children are well into the thick of our session. As I conclude, all of Main Camp just finished a camp-wide game to save the dessert from an insidious outside villain who needs a good camp experience to change his ways. Part of my day today was spent roaming activities and seeing firsthand what fun we’re having as well as the learning that’s taking place. It’s a nice combination! Stay tuned!