Those Bright Moments
December 29, 2017 by Woody Noland
As I look at the remarkably appropriate picture above, I am immediately taken back to the start of our 4 Week session which began with a literal bang. Each two-second burst of blinding light and chest-thumping noise was such a perfect herald of the unknown adventures held in the coming month.
As we close this year, there have been (roughly) 16 million moments like this picture. Many, indeed most, pass in a happily mundane fashion that serves a purpose at that moment and then fades into a hazy recollection of time past. Some bright moments stand out though, encapsulating something special which continues to shine at us from months gone by.
They happen everywhere in life and frequently when we don’t expect it. At school, with a team or by yourself, often for me around friends and family. I believe there is a preponderance of such moments that happen at camp. A successful first in an activity, the overtures of a new friendship that could last a lifetime, a pang of homesickness, and that moment when you knew you were going to be alright.
Many times over this year at High Rocks still stand out to me. Here are a few:
The first morning of staff orientation, first cup of summer coffee in my hand, as I got to see that whole group of amazing people in the same place. The summer feels very real at that moment and the excitement of our counselors let me know there was a wonderful season ahead of us.
Parent day of 2 Week when camp is covered with new families each being led by their own enthusiastic guides. The bold strut of the excited campers, the surprised/happy/thoughtful faces of parents as they notice and absorb the changes in their young man while enjoying being near them again.
For anyone in camping, the bright moments involving campers are so numerous that I won’t attempt a Top 5 or anything so silly. Please just know that you guys are why we do this and why we love it. Your impact on us is at least as big as camp is for you.
A moment special to this year alone was actually an entire weekend. In the 60 years of camp, the weekend itself was indeed just a moment as alumni gathered to celebrate the 60th summer. I remember vividly a point where one of the founders of camp, my grandmother Jane Williams, was enjoying lunch near a group of current campers. Here was one of the first two High Rockers to ever step foot on this place alongside young fellows who had just begun their time at camp and were bubbling with excitement at being back for a second time in the same year. It is a bright and happy thought for me and one that will continue to shine on.
My hope to you all is that everyone has and continues to enjoy their own bright moments in this holiday season with those special to you. May you take the opportunity to remember and share them now for here comes a new year, and 16 million new moments for each of us. How will you make those shine on?
We at High Rocks wish everyone a Happy New Year. We are looking forward to seeing you in 2018 and to a summer filled with many more bright moments.