A Great First* Sunday

Good evening from Hilltop. I apologize for the late evening blog post. Camp days can be long and full. And, as I sit down to write this at ten past ten, I’m not the least bit tired. Though camp days are long and full, they are also good for the spirit, and sitting down to write about it at the end of a long day doesn’t feel like a chore at all.

Sometimes, people ask me if I’ve considered writing these blog posts in the winter. I suppose I could. For example, the structure of a camp Sunday doesn’t change much, and a lot of it could be written in the winter. Certainly, my time is at a greater premium in summer than in winter, and perhaps the strategy could avoid the need for a late-night post. But I’ve always been resistant to the idea. I hope that by actually sitting down to write these posts while we’re in the thick of it, in tonight’s case, coming straight from Evening Fire up to Hilltop to write, causes something to come through that gives you a better sense of what it really feels like to be here. It’s an aspiration, anyway.

I wrote in the title of this post that today was our first* Sunday of the session. The asterisk comes from the fact that of course it’s not our first Sunday, it’s our second. But Sunday the 23rd wasn’t a camp Sunday. Because it was the second full day of camp, it was important that Sunday the 23rd had a regular daily camp schedule, with four periods of classes and so on. You can’t switch things up on kids (or anyone, really) until you establish the normal baseline. So, on Sunday the 23rd, it was our first full day of classes (we used our Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule so we could roll into a normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule on Monday the 24th.)

Now, of course, we’re ten days in, and it’s the perfect time to change things up. We have no religious component to our camp program at Four Winds, but we’re not above borrowing a good idea. Taking one day a week to take things at a slower pace, celebrate and reflect on our community and values, and give back in service to our community is a good idea. And, since it’s camp, we make sure to have some fun too.

On Sundays, we sleep in for an hour. We have a leisurely breakfast, and then a cabin group leads us in Sunday Assembly, a discussion on a topic important to camp. Today, Flying Cloud led us in a discussion of community. It was a great topic for the first Sunday Assembly, if I may say so. Community, the idea that we all contribute and receive from this place – is one of top handful of things that make Four Winds, or any good camp, not just an all-inclusive resort for kids, but something much more substantial.

Then, we do work projects for about an hour (again, both contributing to and receiving from this place), have lunch, an extra-long rest hour, and a Sunday afternoon activity. Today, it was Barden Fair, and the Barn and Garden staffs hosted us for a fun afternoon of sack races, music, watermelon eating contests, horseback rides, and other good, clean fun. Finally, we cap it off with dinner, and of course, Evening Fire. Obviously, our campers experience the day differently than I do, but after a day that was lovely, and filled with conversations that will make our community a better place, but did result in the need to write a late-night blog post, sitting down at Evening Fire, taking a breath, and letting it wash over me was a balm for the soul. Though the campers do experience their days a great deal differently than I do, I hope and believe it was a balm for their souls too.

And now, we’re off to bed, and ready to start another great camp week tomorrow. Thank you, as always, for sharing your children with us. They’re having a ball, and making the most of this experience.