Normalcy, or something like it

Greetings from Hilltop. It’s another glorious Sunday on Orcas Island. We’ve had just a tiny bit of rain in the last few days. It wasn’t enough to get rid of our county-wide fire ban, but it did knock the dust down. We’ll certainly take it. As dry as it’s been, it’s tough to complain about the glorious weather we’re back to today and is forecast for the rest of the session. It’s sunny, warm but not hot, with a lovely breeze. It’s the epitome of summer.

We’re at an interesting point of the session. When I wrote a week ago, we had just received the results of our day 5 surveillance tests, and were able to move to optional outdoor masking. That felt like the end of the beginning. A week from now, we’ll have Talent/No Talent, our talent show, the first of the four evening activities with which we end every four-week session. That will feel very much like the end. Having done this for a long time, and being tasked with many of the logistics of camp, I know that the end is fast approaching, even today. But to most campers and counselors, this is the time that demonstrates why at camp often call the world outside of camp “the real world,” as though the world we’re occupying right now isn’t real. We’re focused on the here and now. Camp feels like a bubble, a word we’ve often used in previous years, but which takes on a little more meaning this year.

Which is all to say that camp feels normal. There are a few COVID-related differences here and there, of course, but on the whole, it feels like camp in any other year. Campers are having adventures, spending time with their friends, and figuring stuff out as they go. I don’t often comment about what’s going on in the outside world in this blog, but given the news lately about the Delta variant, it feels even more wonderful that these campers can have this bit of normalcy.

Speaking of normal – here’s a report on what we did this week. On Monday, we played Capture the Chicken (capture the flag, but with a rubber chicken – it’s hard to explain, it’s just the Four Winds way). On Tuesday, we had Cabin Adventure (in which each counselor comes up with a mini evening activity for each cabin). On Wednesday, we had Moonraker (silly songs and skits on Moonraker Point). On Thursday, Burger Bar (in which the heads give the kitchen staff the night off, cook burgers, fries, and shakes for the whole camp, and dress themselves and the lodge up in a theme. This year, the theme was the Crazy Creek Office Christmas Party – in reference to the camping chairs campers and staff often use. Each cabin and tent dresses up in their own theme, and we watch a movie for Evening Activity. Normally, that’s in the Boat Barn, but this year, it was on the Helm Lawn, and the movie was The Emporer’s New Groove.) On Friday, we had a Folk Dance (always a camp favorite). Yesterday, we had G-Day, a surprise all-day scavenger hunt, followed by a Garden Concert for Evening Activity.

I’m off to get ready for Evening Fire, something I’ve done every Sunday, in every summer save one, for 17 years. That feels normal and good. I’m so glad to be able to share it with these campers and staff. Thank you for sharing your children with us this month. Until next week.