A beautiful Sunday

Greetings from Hilltop. It’s a beautiful Sunday on Orcas, just over a week into Second Session. Sundays are special in camp. We have no religious component to our program, but we recognize a good idea when we see one, and it’s a great idea to take one day a week, slow things down, and focus on service and reflection about what’s important in our community.

So, on Sundays at Four Winds, we sleep in for an hour, have a nice breakfast, and then go to Sunday Assembly, where we reflect together an an important concept at Camp. Today, we focused on dreams for the future, and how camp, where we break away from our normal routines and have the time and space to think a little bit differently, can be a great place to form those dreams. We had a similar Sunday Assembly in 2013, and today we read some of the dreams that some of our staff wrote down ten years ago as campers, and all the campers wrote down some of their dreams, some of which will be read ten years from now. After Sunday Assembly, we have work projects. In a community, it’s important that everyone both gives and receives, which is why campers have jobs here. Most Sundays, each cabin is assigned a different job, but today we have fun twist – each cabin picked up garbage in order to receive points that can be used to bid on prizes later this week at a Second Session favorite evening activity, the Garbage Auction. We then have lunch, an extra long rest hour, and a fun afternoon activity (today, it’s Barden Fair, lots of country fair style games centered around the Barn and Garden). Finally, we’ll cap the day off with Evening Fire, perhaps camp’s oldest and most beloved evening activity, where we’ll gather in the Lodge to share music and poetry.

It’s important to change things up once a week, pausing for this opportunity for a lower pace, service, and reflection because this is a longer-term experience. At a one-week camp, the strategy is to keep the pace high for the week, keep the kids moving, and send them home happy. That has value, but part of the pathway to a four-week session having more than four times the impact of a one-week session, includes taking the time to pause and ask the question, “what are we really doing here?” Camp is fun, but it’s so much more than that, and taking time to notice those things makes it all more meaningful.

So, it’s a beautiful Sunday at Camp. The sun is shining, the campers are heading to Barden Fair, and all is as it should be. This is such a special thing these campers are able to do, and it’s a privilege to be there alongside them. Thank you, as always, for sharing them with us.