Tired and Happy

Greetings from Hilltop. My goodness. It’s hard to believe that Second Session is over. Camp is quiet. The boats left this morning, full of campers feeling emotions all over the spectrum, but most with some mix of happy, sad, and tired. Counselors are working on getting camp cleaned up before they get a night off, followed tomorrow by more cleaning and our staff banquet tomorrow night. About half of them will be leaving before Junior Session, so they’re saying goodbyes to each other while also processing their Second Session and full summer experiences.

Last night, we capped off a perfect last week with a lovely Evening Fire. In writing these blog posts, I see it as one of my tasks to give you a sense of what it was like to be in that room, but I’m afraid I’ll fall up short. I’ll do my best.

The usual dichotomy of Four Winds traditions was there. The literal description of what we were doing, sharing music and poetry for a few hours in the Lodge, doesn’t match up to the power and emotion of it. But on top of that, there was an extra layer to it. Maybe it was the boons being read, which seemed to struggle to find the words to express the love and gratitude they were trying to convey. Maybe it was the tears, of which there were many. Maybe it was just the collective knowledge that in a few hours, the sun would rise and the boats would pull into Four Winds Bay. In any case, the love for each other and this place in that room was palpable. It was a perfect capstone to a magnificent session.

As I write this, a few campers are already with their families, and most are on the way. When they get to you, you may notice a bit of homesickness’ lesser-known cousin, campsickness. Camp is such an immersive experience, reentry into what we call ‘the real world’ can be a little disorienting. Campers react to it in different ways. Some campers will immediately regale you with songs and stories. Others will be reserved at first. Many will be focused on their devices, communicating with camp friends (though some appreciate their break from social media so much that they stay off for days after camp). Often there’s a desire for sleep or a favorite food from home. Give it a couple of days; your camper will adjust quickly if not immediately.

I hope your camper is already talking about 2020. Registration for 2020 is already available on our website. Just go to your parent account, log in, select “Registration Form” and the 2020 season, and you’re on your way. There’s no huge rush, as returning campers are guaranteed enrollment as long as they sign up before November 30, but sometimes families like to take care of it while it’s at the top of mind. We’ll send out reminders and so forth, but please do mind that November 30 deadline. We’ve filled up immediately after that deadline expiring for the last several years, and we have every expectation that will happen again this year.

Thank you, as always, for sharing your children with us. It’s extraordinary to think that these campers are carrying on a 92-year-old tradition and that we’ve had yet another wonderful Four Winds summer. It was a privilege to be a part of it, as it always is. I’m off to get a little rest, celebrate with our staff, and get ready for our final round of campers, our youngest, to come here for Junior Session in a few days. Thank you.