September 22, 2012
Leave Only Footprints, Take Only Memories
To think that Camp Kesem Columbia/Barnard 2012 was already almost a month ago is really unbelievable. We had the most incredible week and I absolutely cannot wait for Camp Kesem 2013 – even though it is rather far off!
When I think about CK 2012, I can’t help but smile. From the moment that we arrived at Camp Mohawk with a bus full of campers eagerly sharing their new camp names to the moment the last camper went home after our Family Gathering back in Manhattan, I was in a state of surreal bliss. Everything was falling into place. The campers were actually laughing and enjoying our activities, the counselors were getting into the swing of things and really committing to camp, and the bugs were only slightly annoying!
It’s difficult to choose one favorite activity from camp, but mine was definitely Empowerment. For those of you new to what we like to call the “Camp Kesem Groove”, Empowerment is an activity that all Camp Kesems do at all campuses across the country. It is a time for us to come together as a camp and take a quiet moment to reflect on why we are at camp and what Camp Kesem means to us. I have never been a part of something so magical, no pun intended. We began our ceremony by making a circular rain storm (http://kristinhall.org/songbook/CircleGames/MakingRain.pdf). After the rain came the main event: the sharing of why we are at Camp Kesem. We had three counselors start off the process and from there we went around the circle, just sharing and listening, to how cancer had impacted each of our peers and why they were happy to be at camp. There were tears and there was laughter but most of all there was community and it was beautiful. I’ve never been so honored to hear such personal stories. We finished Empowerment by making capes and signing our camp names onto one another’s capes, a tangible representation of the bond we now share.
Now, my cape sits in my dorm and I look at it and can remember what I love about each and every camper and something special that they taught me – I can only hope that I was able to impact the campers with the same magnitude that they impacted me.