Getting Nostalgic

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 31, 2013 6:35:28 PM

Getting Ready for the Green Machine Dance Getting Ready for the Green Machine Dance

I always find myself becoming nostalgic toward the end of the summer.


At the start of the camp season, the summer stretches out far into the future.  The end seems incredibly far away.


The days are also intense.  Living in a cabin with 10-13 other people is a truly immersive experience without much “personal down time”.  The friendships form quickly and deeply (I always marvel at how many camp friends are in wedding parties), but if you find yourself a little annoyed with someone, you cannot ignore it.


The days are also incredibly active, with 6 hours of daily activities (most of which are somewhat physical) and special activities on top of that.  While campers get full nights of sleep (9ish hours), they generally hit the bed hard at the end of the day.


Time is a funny thing at camp.  We often say that the “days are long, but the weeks are short”.   I remember my first Man Cave last Tuesday as if it happened yesterday, but this morning’s meeting seems somewhat distant.


As the summer advances, time also accelerates.  With each session, I find the days rolling faster as I strive to make the time with the campers last.  I find it hard to believe that many of our campers will be leaving in 2.5 days.  One of the hard parts about camp is the fact that you do get highly attached to the individuals and the community very rapidly.  We truly begin to feel like part of a family.  As campers return year-after-year, those bonds only strengthen. That is a gift, but it also makes saying goodbye much harder.


Since I have done this so many years, I know how quickly the last days and weeks will speed by.  I also know that in a month or two, counselor or leadership team member would give anything to be waking up at 6 AM to run a Lake Swim or staying up late for a counselor meeting.  These temporal inconveniences might inspire the occasional complaint today, but they will seem precious soon.  Campers and counselors will long for nightly rituals where they share the high points of the day with their cabin.


In short, we will miss the community.  When I attended Davidson College, we had an Honor Code that we took very seriously.  As a result, we had essentially zero cheating or theft.  I remember the President of the College saying that “it is not that better people come here, but our community compels us to be better people”.  At our best, our community does the same thing.  College students choose to forgo partying.  Everyone unplugs from technology.  We strive to practice kindness and look for the best in each other.  Sure, we are not always successful, but we do pretty darn well.


Some of our counselors have told me that camp is a great place to see how people are at their best.  One female counselor said that a guy that is enthusiastically teaching a 9 year-old is far more appealing than a guy at a fraternity party!


So our community is nearing its end and I want to tell the counselors and campers how much they will miss it.  I want them to savor the time together because it is different from the “real world” and better in so many ways.  When school returns, there will be fewer silly songs, Pirate Ships, stories by starlight and deep conversations.  Do not get me wrong, I am a huge believer in education, but I also wish that we spent a little more time at here.


As I look over this, I realize I have rambled a bit.  I hope you will forgive the indulgence.  I just know that soon we will be missing the same children that you are currently missing.


But I cannot imagine doing anything else.


Steve Sir

Read More

Tags: Camper

Hard to be a Kid

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 27, 2013 5:31:14 PM

Under tree near HondosYesterday, I told you about Man Cave and Friendship Circle.  Today, Susie Ma’am pulled me aside and shared some conversations about a particularly fun Friendship Circle.


Read More

Tags: Camper

Loving the Quote Board

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 24, 2013 11:48:12 AM

Quote Board3Susie Ma’am is full of fun ideas.

Hers was the mastermind behind Friendship Circle.  I will write more about this tradition soon, so I will give a short description here.  Friendship Circle is when a cabin comes to our house for a treat and one-on-one time with Susie Ma’am for an hour.  In this way, she gets time with every girl.  After seeing this great success, the boys’ side added Man Cave (which is the same thing with the boys cabins and me).

Read More

Tags: Camper

Welcome to Camp

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 21, 2013 6:57:02 PM


Read More

Tags: Camper

Savoring Our Community

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 18, 2013 1:56:34 PM

Flame still burns

Read More

Tags: Camper

Rain and Swims

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 17, 2013 2:19:52 PM

Boys in PondThe rain today has been a lovely variation from the last few weeks.

Read More

Tags: Camper

Chaos, Cavemen and Drums

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 12, 2013 6:22:13 PM

Drum cafeI am in a somewhat reflective mood today, so let me share how camp has helped me grow as an individual and parent.

Read More

Tags: Camper

Appreciation in the Man Cave

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 8, 2013 2:24:06 PM

Boys over firepit

Read More

Tags: Camper, General

The Quote Board

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 5, 2013 1:00:02 AM

Quote Board

Read More

Tags: Camper

Lizards and Fireworks

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 4, 2013 6:31:12 PM

After Torchlight, Susie Ma’am was walking behind a group of campers.

Here is the conversation she heard.

Read More

Tags: Camper