July 22, 2016 by Woody Noland
The day itself felt like a typical camp day. The morning was cool enough for some jackets to be worn, with the sun quickly warming up camp to the point that those at free time happily jumped in the lake for a respite. The hustle and bustle of campers was smooth and efficient, as befits this group of guys who know camp so well, even if they arrived five days ago. The food offerings in the dining hall were appropriately rumor-mongered around camp, with ham biscuits and gravy at breakfast disappearing almost as fast as the shepherd’s pie vanished at dinner. Keystone camp for a fun afternoon of co-ed soccer celebrated with cold lemonade and a delightful storm front that cool camp off when we wanted it most. All in all, a standard day of fun and excitement that provided a backdrop for some pretty important stuff being accomplished at an individual level.
I was fortunate enough to be out and about most of the day, be it assisting with soccer, receiving a drubbing in the Camper/Counselor Tennis Tournament, sharing a meal with some tired, but reflective campers that got caught at the end of the line just like me. Everywhere in camp that I spent time i was engaged by guys who were excitedly, and proudly, talking about goals they had accomplished. A Mini II camper said his cabin group had set weekly goals for themselves to be accomplished by Saturday if possible. He had nailed one of his two in managing to climb to the top of the intermediate wall today. He had achieved half of his other goal (which was shooting two bulls’ eyes in riflery) this same morning and to say he was feeling good about himself would be an understatement. He was literally shaking with excitement to get back with his cabinmates this evening and report on his success, yet with a focus on tomorrow to get that one more elusive shot.
Another, much older, camper sat at dinner talking to us about a difficult decision he was facing. For a number of years, this camper has been working on his progression in archery to arrive at this point in time where he has a very good chance of attaining the golden arrow given the number of activity days left in the session. However, he had just been invited on a much-anticipated three-day climbing trip heading out in the middle of next week, to a place he’s never climbed but has been steadily talked up. And now he was stuck, chewing on his dilemma even harder than he was chewing on his dinner (no small feat!). The table focused in on the issue and many solutions/suggestions were tossed his way. The one that stuck was a collaborative effort that had this camper searching out our head of Archery and Riflery to see if he would schedule additional times and bend some regular schedule time to allow both the climbing trip to be possible while still keeping open the chance at the golden arrow. A deal was struck over ice cream sundaes, a dilemma faced down and solved in the most agreeable fashion, and off the crew went to put on wigs and practice on their brooms for Air Band Night.
Though this Friday was like many others at first glance, the fact that this was the third Friday of the session meant all sorts of similar accomplishments, decisions, and personal moments were happening around High Rocks. They can happen loudly with much cheering and acknowledgment, or can happen in a moment that only a few people notice. I am not sure there is a difference in the importance of either when reduced to that individual level, but when you catch them it is something special.
I hope everyone at home is heading into a wonderful weekend, as we are here. We will be back with you after a rocking good time at the Keystone Square Dance tomorrow evening.
Have a good night,