My own personal view of camp is important, but in the big scheme of things, camp is all about the children. I tell this to our staff every year and emphasize the reason we are all here – the campers. What they experience, feel and go home with is what really matters in our work. We do affect those outcomes as described in the last installment of these ramblings.
Campers most of the time get it and connect those dots way before we think they do. Each person expresses “camp” in their own way. Capturing those thoughts is never easy and often you can’t begin to capture this on video or photos or in words. Once in a while we are the recipient of glimpses captured that do express what camp is and I was just sent one of those examples. The following poem came to us this week and was written by a 4th grade girl who has been attending camp for several years. She got it and has put into words how she feels about camp. I will say that it not only touched our hearts because of the reference to a place we love, but she was recognized as only 1 of 2 elementary students in her school system that received honors for her writing. Well said young lady! Here it is.
The View By
Beneath my feet a rock so strong,
above my head a sky with a song,
to my right the path up which I seemed to soar,
to my left the pine trees sway as though dancing with glee galore.
I made my path through beauty’s way,
Until now I stand at last, aghast.
The best painter of all paints the sky,
with colors so bright they scream with might,
behind the mountains tall.
The lake below ripples with magic,
nothing here could ever seem tragic.
I am not alone friends surround me yet
we stand as only one,
as we watch the sky drown the sun,
soon it will be a new day begun.
The stars rise like awakening eyes.
Another magical place to which I have trod,
another place forget I shall not.
It’s Camp, It’s Real, It’s Fun and It’s Growth