Silent Meeting at the BDC is a pretty special place. I have been at Farm & Wilderness for 14 years. Yet for me to feel fully present each summer, I need to sit in the Silent Meeting circle filled with campers and staff.
That circle is magical.
For staff, for parents, for campers, for visitors, whomever is up there, the magic is palpable. I am always amazed at the scene of kids running full speed up to the circle after lunchtime for Silent Meeting. While it is true we have fidgeting and, once in a while, we have to move a child, for the most part, the kids know what to do and respect the space. Kids love to touch the talking stick. They watch it go around the circle and are impressed when we bring a new talking stick into the circle. Often they just sit and touch it for a few minutes, taking in that moment.
We also often hear a variety of praise for our camp, everything from:
“I can’t wait for my afternoon activity” to “this is the best camp in the world” or “I love that we play in the rain here” or “I feel so lucky to be here” or “I am excited for my overnight”. And, of course, there are many more things that are said. Sometimes our Silent Meeting can take as long as 20 minutes before that stick gets around the circle. Much of that time is silent with no one speaking at all. I have never, in all of my time at the BDC, heard any child complain about Silent Meeting. Mostly I hear that they like it. I find when we sit in silence, together it is inspiring and gives you a warm and loving feeling that permeates throughout the afternoon. How lucky that we have that time together.