The Siren: June 22, 2023
Today at the waterski docks I watched as one of our first-year campers tried every trick in the book to avoid taking a run. After selecting waterskiing as one of his top choices, he wasn’t able to get up on skis yesterday on his first try. So today he did his best to say that there were no skis that fit, he couldn’t find a life jacket, and that it was too cold – none of which were true on a beautiful 85-degree sunny day. Our counselor James patiently walked him through each of the supposed obstacles and said, “You seem scared.” The camper acknowledged he was nervous and James asked if he would like it if he got in the water with him. Together they jumped in the lake, with James teaching and supporting the whole way. On his third try, the camper got up and skied halfway around the lake. He came back to the docks with an incredible smile on his face. He was so proud!
Uncomfortable isn’t a bad thing. We try so hard to shield our kids from being uncomfortable. We make it sound like a bad word. Yet when we hear that we’re going to be “pushed outside of their comfort zone,” we know deep down that the challenge is good for us. We know that it’s the only way we learn and grow. It is amazing to see things like this happening all the time at camp. There were several stories like this one at the ski docks today alone. A few campers today overcame their fears and climbed the wall for the first time. I saw another camper who was afraid of the lake upon his arrival and today he was swimming laps at swim lessons. All of that was just 3rd Period! But camp is designed for moments like this to happen all of the time. It’s a challenge to be away from home, to make new friends, to learn new routines, to go on a camping trip that you’ve never done before. Though there may a struggle with each of these, with the support of our incredible staff, they are all opportunities to develop resilience, gain confidence and learn new skills in the process.
There’s also lots of room for silly fun at camp! Tonight’s Evening Program was called King’s Candy. Each cabin was led by a guide in search of the King’s Candy around camp, which came in the form of different colored balloons. They had to help the King’s Guard protect the candy from the Oompa-Loompas who were trying to pop the balloons. Staff in costumes were running around camp trying to get the balloons that the kids were working to acquire through challenges. And all of it ended with our first Wanegan of the summer! Wanegan is an Ojibwa word for store, and it’s where our campers can get a candy bar twice each week, so long as they wrote their letters home. The kids were thrilled to end the night with candy!
Today’s Grace:– Helen Keller
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”