Tonight was the last night of camp for our session 2 campers. It was a cool 56 degrees out, and our crystal clear mountain skies were filled with millions of stars. Our lead counselor and resident fire builder, Bill, built us a raging camp fire. As each camper left the dining hall, they were handed a small twig and asked to be completely silent as they made their way to the camp fire circle and found a seat. All you could hear was the sizzle of the fire as our campers and staff filled the split log seats of our fire circle.
As soon as everyone was seated, Jordyn and I began leading the group in “One Day” by Matisyahu. Everyone sang so loudly that you could hardly hear my guitar and Jordyn’s ukulele. The song ended and we began our session-end tradition of taking turns talking about our best memories of the past 2.5 weeks. For the next hour, campers and staff shared their best memories and fed half of their twig into the fire. The other half is to be taken home with them.
I am always amazed at how creating the right atmosphere allows everyone to open up about their experience. Camper after camper spoke and reviewed the session, occasionally in tears over having to leave their friends tomorrow. The affect that camp has on everyone, in every age, is profound. There is nothing like it, no experience that comes close, no other way kids can bond so tightly in such a short period of time, and no other place where so many different people from all over the world, can feel like it is their second home.
The magic of camp was alive and burning bright tonight. I am confident that you will hear all about it when your camper comes home tomorrow.