The last week of camp is always a bit challenging. The children sense a transition on the horizon, even if they can not yet identify it. There are no new kids anymore, and even our most recent arrivals are veterans now. A handful of counselors have already left to get back to school, and the children are tired, and sometimes cranky. There is still an entire week of camp left though, and the boys will spend as many hours here between now and the 24th as they would in their classrooms for almost a whole month of school. There are still many experiences to have, and much growing to do.
One camper had a bit of a melt down during cleanup this morning and stormed out of the bunk. The counselor began to go after him, just like he is supposed to but I waved him off as I thought this camper just needed a little space. He went around to the back of the bunk, sat down and began tossing small pebbles at the retaining wall, feeling alone.
Very quietly, without asking or telling anybody, one of his bunkmates went to sit with him. They just sat there silently for a while, sharing nothing but the moment, listening to the sounds of the pebbles bouncing off the wooden planks as they took turns throwing. These two boys would not call each other best friends. They are just bunkmates. Still, without any prompting, one took it upon himself to help his brother. It was 9:45 in the morning; that was only the first beautiful thing that happened today.
A bit later I was giving a tour to some prospective families. We made our way over to the climbing tower where two Mountain View bunks were gearing up. One camper was already on the most challenging face of the wall with a counselor climbing beside and below him. As this boy reached higher and higher, his fellows down below began chanting his name over and over. They grew more and more excited as their bunkmate continued upward. When he made it to the top, all the boys cheered and jumped and hugged each other. One of our campers turned to an adult on the tour and said, in a matter of fact tone, “He’s blind, you know.”
When this camper reached the top of the tower today he could not look out over the field, nor see how high he had climbed. But he could hear the cheers and yells of other boys who love him. I can not express how thankful I am for the opportunity to share that moment with your sons.
But the truth is, I get to see your boys do stuff like that every single day.