September 3, 2012
When I woke up this morning (from the floor of a cabin, to prevent sleepwalking) things felt differently. This is what I realized, it’s now mostly over. We have morphed into a comfortable, crazy, and co-dependent unit. It’s no longer that we are all college students who kinda know each other, or that we have campers with whom we are still getting to know: we have become so in tune with who we are to each other that it is unmistakable. We are now a family.
We have our Freckles and Sunshine who have made the ultimate nuclear family in four short days. They are in charge of our littlest girls and boy-oh-boy does that mean there is a lot of stuff. But they’ve got it; they have water bottles, backpacks, buckets, bears, tiaras, stickers, blankies, extra panties, swim suits, extra shoes, and deep undivided affection. Izzie, Phyll, and Boog are our littlest campers who need just as much love and support as our oldest campers. I couldn’t have expected the kind of magic Sunshine and Freckles would create when they installed themselves in the cabin. But it’s there, there is magic in how much Izzie waits for Freckles to talk before she decides to do anything, there is magic in Phyll’s positivity and hunger for Sunshine’s goofy smile. And there is magic because Boog, who carries her safety bucket and bear everywhere, was having too much fun to want to retrieve it and left it; discarded for a utility bucket.
Today we boated, and connected, and explored. But also we challenged ourselves as an admin team, we created the Messy Olympics of a lifetime. Messy Olympics consisted of a pool full of cooked oatmeal, water, and flour; a cooked noodle and chocolate syrup slip ‘n slide; paint twister; a whipped topping pie-in-the-face contest; and finally the crème de la crème: the admin team sundae run. I have never been 1) so gross 2) so proud or 3) so happy. We began with an impromptu flour fight. This was so special because it was the first time that I felt like all of our staff and our admin got to just be goofy with each other and then with kids. Thinking about it makes me tear up, not in some sad way but in a way that makes my heart lighter and a little dizzy. All of our campers were gross and so happy. That is the point of camp I think. For the record, I had the oldest boys’ unit decorate me, and they did an excellent job, I still can’t decide if they did such good work because they hate me or because they love me (please see Facebook for photographic evidence).
Tonight was also our night of Empowerment. For as much as I write and goof around with little groups, public speaking isn’t my gig. But I led our Empowerment Ceremony and it would have gone just as well if anyone had led it because our campers are so brave, strong, and special. They are all the magic we needed to make camp happen. I could tell all of you how incredible it was to hear kids share their stories about cancer but that doesn’t seem right. I’ll let the campers tell you in their own time, and the counselors tell you when they are ready. All I can say is that I am humbled by the amount of compassion and wisdom and magic we shared.