August 20, 2012
Sunday to Monday: Magic Beginnings (Part 1)
Co-chairs, Michelle and Claire (Squeaks and Zipper, respectively) have been planning Camp Kesem at the University of Washington for more than two years. Neither of us can really believe that camp has arrived. We want to give all of you eager supporters and families a snap shot of Sunday and Monday: the beginning our magical adventures as camp administers and eager observers of our incredible campers and staff.
Magic really starts when we assemble a staff but it’s small and more like drinking a lightly carbonated drink–you know, the bubbly feeling you get all the way to you toes? But the minute I knew I was in a magical frenzy was the minute our first campers showed up, Herobrin and Honeydew. I would compare the feeling to jumping into a cool lake on a hot day–that exhilarating leap of faith that the water will be worth it. Let me tell you, as more families and campers arrived it became abundantly clear, these two years have been worth it. Eventually, 83% of our campers arrived and our bus was packed, we were ready to roll. With few to no tears we set off to begin the journey of a lifetime for everyone, campers and staff alike. I should note that the other 17% arrived at the camp site later that afternoon as scheduled.
We arrived (early, might I add, way to go staff!) and immediately began having snack and playing field games. Campers (with new names) have, at this point, formed intense and special bonds with counselors, I think my heart almost burst when I watched camper Tom interact with his counselor, Cricket. I have never seen so much mutual respect and idolization built in less than three hours.
I would also love to mention that our first two campers to arrive (who may not have been so sure CK was for them) have officially become cool dudes. Camp Craft is staffed by two the most kind and cool dudes I know. Thank you, Buttons and Suspenders. But they are not alone in their incredible traits, each of our counselors from Bubbles to Pancakes has something unique to share and yesterday’s skits were just the beginning (check out our facebook: www.facebook.com/campkesem-uw, to see some of the cheers and skits our clever, brilliant, and happy campers created). After skits and ground rules we shared our first meal together. In some cultures, eating together signifies that you are part of a family, if I ever had doubts about this they were vanquished at dinner.
Dinner is always followed by dessert (it’s a camp rule, in my book) and last night was no exception. Even with the burn ban we made some camp magic by roasting s’mores. Thank you to The Conductor and to Tutu for serenading us with songs to warm us inside. I wasn’t a camper as a little girl, so I forget the magic that comes from more than 40 voices singing in unison. Let me remind you in case you’re like me and can’t remember: it makes your breath catch and your arm hair stand up and your eyes well. These are the voices of lives being transformed in less than 24 hours. The transformation isn’t done though; we’re merely beginning, as is this post, longer later.