Aug 16

Wednesday Reflection - New friends, old friends - camp friends are the greatest!

Dear Campers, Families, and Friends,

Camp friendships are so special and the bonds made at camp are unique and enduring. The excitement in the days leading up to camp to see camp friends, many of whom live far and only connect once a year at camp, is palpable. New friendships are made as the campers are introduced to one another in those first moments of camp, starting at the buses. Friends reunite, and jump back into the fray of camp as though not a day has gone by, let alone a year. But the beauty of camp is in the unexpected friendships that we see blossom.  Our returning campers often take the lead in showing the new campers the way around. Older campers naturally mentor the younger ones, allowing them to develop their own leadership skills. We are so proud of the shy or introverted child who connects with another child over a shared interest of looking at insects or an activity. The older girl who braids the hair of a younger one or provides encouragement on the first day to get into the cool lake to take the swim test. Last night at the evening service the campers were asked to get on stage and reflect on what they love about camp  - it was amazing how many said it was the friendships they made that they love so much about camp... IMG_2326 Camp is safe place for children to laugh, bond, explore, and connect with others without the pressure of everyday life. Children can work on their own, build as a group, or achieve as a team. They cheer for one another! They sing out loud in the dining hall standing on the chairs and singing as though there is nothing more important than that moment, that cheer. Campers are fully present - no screens, no distractions, just being in the moment of camp and connecting with each other. Many of them reflected on this as a great part of camp!! It is a beautiful, warm sunny morning.  Sitting by the lake, watching the campers who rose early for a morning dip at the lake, while others wake slowly and ready themselves for a busy and fun day ahead it's hard not to feel happy and relaxed.. and reflecting fondly of old camp friends. Have a wonderful day - yours in camping! Stacey