Long Live Summer Camp! Days spent during stay are short, though that…
March 21, 2018 - summer camp
I never attended a summer stay module as a camper, though after some-more than 10 years as a stay counselor, lifeguard, and partner stay executive for Wisconsin Farmers Union Kamp Kenwood, I’ve begun to know given stay matters so much. And make no mistake about that: To those who have been partial of it, stay matters some-more than roughly anything else.
What creates summer stay so powerful? For one thing, stay is a deeply common experience, and common practice are a substructure of durability friendships. From quirky traditions and organisation singing to outside games and activities, there is no “us” and “them” during camp. Instead, a stay believe is built on “we,” formulating a clever clarity of consolation and acceptance.
At Farmers Union Camp, a heart of a “we” is a Co-op Store, that sells treats and T-shirts. An tangible operative co-op, a Co-op Store is run by a camper-elected house of directors. Membership is voluntary, though members get a 5 percent division on their spending, so any camper customarily ends adult being a member. At a finish of camp, members opinion on either to use a increase for stay improvements or to make a free donation.
But it’s not only a “we” – summer stay is a absolute believe partly given it is temporary. In fact, stay might be a one thing in a immature person’s life that has a obvious finish point. From a viewpoint of a child or teenager, life can seem like an unconstrained non-progression of routine: school, family, friends, chores, homework, repeat. From currently to tomorrow to subsequent week, zero changes.
Camp is different. We arrive on a initial day and a finish is already in sight. Knowing that stay won’t final forever, we value it all a more. We value a time together. We rivet some-more deeply with any other, and hearten any other on. We are benefaction in a approach that can be formidable to grasp in a day-to-day lives. (Leaving a phones and screens during home doesn’t hurt!) The end, when it comes, is bittersweet – though a unhappiness is gradual by a believe that there’s always subsequent year.
But we consider a genuine sorcery of summer stay – a sorcery that keeps me entrance behind year after year – is that stay offers an event to reinvent yourself. Freed from a expectations of friends and family members who have famous us a whole lives, we unexpected learn that a choice of who we wish to be is ours. History becomes irrelevant; who we have been in a past doesn’t meant anything. What matters is who we are during camp. Summer stay is a purify slate, a uninformed start. It is a leisure to be ourselves.
At Farmers Union Camp, we have a share of nonsensical traditions. There’s Bruce a Penguin station proudly on a categorical lodge’s grate mantel dressed in his Kamp Kenwood T-shirt and headband. There’s Lake Wissota’s fabulous duck-eating musky. There is a full-body fake-fur bear dress (with built-in paws inexplicably sewn with 4 fingers and no thumbs) that creates an coming in roughly any skit.
But my favorite stay tradition is Good Night Circle. Standing palm in palm with campers and colleagues during a finish of a day, it’s tough not to get a bit teary-eyed as we sing a carol of “Viva la Compagnie” together one some-more time:
Viva la, viva la one and all,
Viva la, viva la vast and small;
Viva la you, viva la me,
Viva la compagnie!
Viva la compagnie. Viva la summer camp!
Tom Pamperin has served off and on as a stay counselor, lifeguard, and partner stay executive for Wisconsin Farmers Union Kamp Kenwood given 1996. His repute for building fiendishly elaborate games and activities for campers is all too well-deserved. Find out some-more about WFU Kamp Kenwood during wisconsinfarmersunion.com.