As I was sitting in Silent Meeting after Songs, I
realized, “this is camp!” An epic sing along like this morning, followed by a silent descent down a stony path to a clearing in the woods, packed with over a hundred boys sitting silently for almost a half hour – it’s extraordinary. Our band “The Trading Post Legends” features four guitars, two violins, a bass clarinet, saxophone, three drums, a piano and a leader hyping everyone up. Plus the campers who practice daily. We sang “Free Falling” by Tom Petty with a nice two part harmony, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” by the Flaming Lips, “Paradise” by John Prine and finished with “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield (here is a link to our playlist). The energy level was incredible for the finale with everyone on their feet.
And with the sun shining through the trees for the first time since drop off, our Silent Meeting felt magical. Today was a “chorening” of cleaning up camp and letter writing followed by “Camper-Led Afternoon.” Campers choose what they want to do and counselors say, “I can do that with you.” Activities ranged from working on climbing skills, practicing whittling and carving, a game of capture the flag on Bearpit island, a “get muddy then get in the lake”, some reading books on Paradise Island, and much more.
Tomorrow our younger (9-11 yr olds) campers will go to their first cycle of four mornings in a row and all activity areas are full – swim lessons, rock climbing, barns and gardens, outdoor living skills, arts and work projects.
Our older campers (12-14yr olds) will get to go out on their four-day trips starting tomorrow as well. We’re glad that the weather has been more obliging.
Campers have already proved what they are made of in camp. Last night I was with Lumberjacks cabin, who were on their third night of post-dinner pots. This involves cleaning all the dishes and scrubbing all the pots from a meal that served close to two hundred people. When I was fourteen years old, I thought it was a big deal for me to do the dishes after a family meal. This crew worked from 6:15 till 8 and when it was over, I pulled them aside and let them know that I could write a letter of recommendation for each and every one of them. They had every opportunity to complain, to drag their feet (their co-workers had to go back the cabin for close-toed shoes, etc.) but they were cheerful, chatty and worked without slacking their pace until every dish was cleared and every surface was shining. I would be delighted to get up every morning to work alongside each one of them. The dishes and pots may not be in the brochure, but you can bet they are learning about teamwork and making work fun from it. They are not just part of the community, they make the community.
More later – now, I am off to Council Fire to do a spoken word piece inspired by Taylor Swift.
“Anything Is Possible, Everybody Counts, Let’s Get It Done!”