The Rainbow Challenge and Priceless Words!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Main Camp just finished 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 lose 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 freezy pops for everyone.

As dusk settles in and children head to bed, the mountains have low hanging clouds that I wish would drop some rain on us tonight.  It’s been a very dry summer and we really need rain at this point.  Our paddling program is totally dependent on rivers that release water and soon they will stop their releases if our weather doesn’t change.  Mountainside ran the Tuck today and will probably go there again tomorrow.

I recently read a review of a new Pixar movie that’s out 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.  One of my colleagues in the camp industry says this movie speaks the Language Of Camp.  She highly recommended this movie for parents and camp staff.  Only having seen the trailers I’m confident in saying that 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 think this movie is not to be missed if you’re in my business or have children around this age.

As a camp director I’m always looking for inspirational material for my staff.  I recently saw the following short video called How Can Adults Show They Care.  It speaks volumes to what a good counselor should be picking up on.  I’m going to show it to our staff over our next break between sessions.  Here’s the link if you’re interested.  It’s only a minute long.

One of the best parts of our program is of course our Farm and then the table where all that good food is served up.  An outcome from that food is the fact that we share good food and engage in great conversation at the table.  I’ve already asked the children I eat with each meal if they’ve seen the above mentioned Pixar movie and several had.  The other day one little girl from our table asked me how much counselors make and I told her.  She and other campers at the table of course thought it was a lot of money and one of the other counselors responded in a joking way, that it could be higher.  She looked him square in the eye and said, “It’s not about the money, it’s about the fun”.  Priceless! Future staff in the making.  We had a young visitor at our table today for lunch from Cabin Echo.  We were talking about food and I asked him his favorite food at camp and he said watermelon, which is a pretty normal answer for an Echo boy.  We went on talking a bit and then he said, “When my taste buds like the food in my mouth they kiss the food”.  Again Priceless!  These gems are just the tip of the iceberg as we navigate through this child’s world we have here.

As adults working with all these great little people, we too gain from these daily interactions and experiences.  We’re 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.