We continue with our string of good luck as we once again had another day of beautiful skies, bright sunshine, and temperatures in the eighties. There was a break in our intercamp schedule, and our Intermediate and Okee campers took the opportunity to leave camp for a fun day at the beach and amusement parks. It’s a perfect way to break up the routine after this grueling week of competition.
The Braves (finished third grade) departed in the afternoon for an overnight camping trip at Swan Falls Campground in Fryeburg, Maine. Our little guys were primed for the adventure, equipped with bug spray and sleeping bags. These boys looked like they were auditioning for the Survivor show. For many, this will be their first opportunity to cook over an open fire, roast marshmallows, make s’mores, and sleep in tents under a star-lit sky. Admittedly, there are always some boys that are reluctant to go on this adventure and even some parents who call to give permission for their boys to miss this trip. However, as I often say, some of our greatest experiences in life are often met with ambivalence and trepidation.
This morning after breakfast, one of our Okee campers came in to see me. He wanted to let me know that he takes his responsibility as head of his camp family very seriously and that he has continued to check on his camp brothers periodically before bedtime. He mentioned that one of his little brothers was having conflicts in his bunk. The Okee camper took his little brother up to our welcome arch. As reported to me by the Okee camper, the two boys reviewed our arch ideals, and the Okee camper asked the little boy if he understood the meaning of each of these words. He asked the younger boy if one of these arch ideals might help him in feeling more settled in the bunk. After a few minutes, the little boy responded, “Tolerance.”
He suggested, upon reflection, that he was quick to bark out orders in the bunk, and perhaps was being a little too bossy. If he demonstrated tolerance towards his bunkmates perhaps that would be the first step to creating more harmony in his cabin. As I listened to this Okee tell me this story, I reminded him that there was a time that he was not so tolerant of his bunkmates.
As a camp director, I have the unique privilege of watching so many boys experience these moments of struggle and inevitably they grow up to be fine, young men of character. Clearly, the time we invest in our children will pay dividends in the future.