A wonderful end to First Session

Greetings from Hilltop. For the first time in a month, Camp is eerily quiet. The campers are all gone. Those that were picked up by their parents at Camp, Anacortes, Woodland Park, and Seatac are already reunited. As I write this, the campers that are flying home on earlier flights are boarding. The word from our crew at the airport is that all is going smoothly.

The staff is off for a well deserved two-day break. After that’s over, we’ll have 24 hours with them back in Camp before the Second Session campers arrive, and we do it all over again.

But for now, we’re all still a little reflective on an incredible First Session. It was a wonderful one. I have an expression, “there’s no magic in the dirt.” I’ve backed off using it a bit for the last few years, as I think I might have overused it prior, but I brought it back last night for my message to the campers last night at the end of Evening Fire. With that expression, I’m pushing back against a feeling that I think it’s easy to have – that the type of community and friendship we have here at Four Winds can only happen here, and that it happens here automatically.

I think that’s just flat out wrong. This place feels the way it does in the summer because the campers and staff decide to live by a set of values and principles, not because of the spot we occupy on the map. Being in a beautiful, natural setting helps, without a doubt, but the most important thing is the way we decide to be with others.

So, if First Session felt wonderful, and it did, then the campers and staff are to be heartily congratulated. I’m very proud of them. They tried new things that scared them. They were vulnerable with each other, and when others were vulnerable with them, they honored that vulnerability. They focused on the things that matter most, and they ignored the things that don’t, despite all that’s out there in the culture that send the wrong messages about what matters.

All of those things can be done outside of Camp, and these campers have practice. And, of course, they have their Camp friends, even if they are scattered across the globe.

I hope you and your camper are already thinking about 2020. Registration is already open. There’s no rush, as returning campers guaranteed enrollment as you sign them up before November, but many people like to take care of while camp is at the top of mind. Simply log in to your parent account, click on “Registration Form,” select the 2020 season, and you’re on your way. We will send out reminders and so forth, but we do encourage you to mind that November 30 deadline. For the last several years, all three of our sessions filled on December 1, and we have no reason to believe it will be different next year.

Thank, once again, for sharing your children with us this session. We know it’s a sacrifice to send your children to such a long session. We believe it’s worth it, and hopefully, you’ll see the evidence that it is, today and in the coming days. We hope to see them all back next summer. Now, a bit of rest. Thank you!