The culmination of the Senior Camper program is a 3-day retreat in the last week of the program (week 3 of the third summer).
During that retreat, each Senior Camper (who is a rising high school senior) writes a mission statement. When they return, we have a banquet for them. This meal is really special. We have 4 types of veggies and Portobello mushrooms with pesto. We serve bread with fig butter. And we grill multiple proteins: salmon, steak, chicken kebobs, and artisanal sausages. In short, we make the meal extra special.
But the most special part follows the banquet. The Senior Campers come into our home and read their mission statements. (I took the photo during that process. Clearly, Dodger the dog is missing the depth of these readings.)
It is probably worth clarifying here. The mission statements are actually more like personal statements of purpose. They are generally a page or two long.
And they are truly impressive. Almost all of them talked about a willingness to embrace adversity and learn from failures. They shared what they admired about their parents while also understanding that they need to find their own identity.
They did not talk about professions, but instead about integrity and trust; fellowship and love.
Hearing these young people share so willingly and openly is truly moving. It is one of our favorite days of the year.
PS The rest of camp had a blast at “Carnival”, which provided a selection of 14 different activities that campers could select and enjoy. This photo is the "hitching post".
PPS Susie Ma’am and I also enjoyed a little time with the 2nd and 3rd graders with an afternoon cookies, milk and chat session. We love seeing how easily the little ones find joys in each day, so this treat session is really a special “thank you” from us to them. Here is a photo of the girls.