It’s Their Trail to Blaze
June 12, 2019 by Don Gentle
Some of my favorite part of the day is just watching these boys get from one activity to another. Of course, the younger guys have a bigger learning curve as they figure out all the clothing and equipment needs, location, distance and time from point “a” to “b.” I haven’t even brought up the stop by the dining hall for a snack along the way. The older boys have a better sense of what they need and where they need to be, but take just as long because they are on their own schedule. Teenagers are funny that way. The fifteen minutes that make up the time in between activities is pretty cool to see. All of camp comes to life as boys crisscross around campus and then all of a sudden there are just a couple stragglers and finally it’s all quiet again.
As I walked around camp today, I enjoyed seeing all the learning happening. By design, these boys choose their own activities. They choose the path and how to walk it. Of course, there is guidance and some discussion from a mentor on opinions about how best to succeed. Ultimately, it is up to the individual about where to go next. Will they stumble along the way. I hope so… It sure helps them figure out what works.
Child development is a crazy thing. It’s not a perfect science, but it definitely has its merit. Boys of a certain age do the same thing their predecessors did years before them. The process regarding the way we learn is very similar as well. I watched this happen today. A beginner mountain biker will typically look down at his feet or the ground in front of him as he is beginning to figure things out. He’s a little nervous and stiff, focused on the very thing in front of them. As the instructors give them some consistent reminders, they finally begin to keep their eyes up. Finally, the body can anticipate what is coming. The biker peddles faster, and the body relaxes. The whole process just becomes more fluid. Just a small part of my day today.
Dinner tonight was exceptional! As I moved through the line I had to grab a fresh yeast roll, but then I saw the roast pork loin. I love pork! Next down the line was asparagus. Not just any asparagus, but grilled on the flattop. Then came the sweet potatoes all mashed up and lovely. If you felt like you needed it, there was an amazing sherry cream sauce that you could drench all over it. I put a little on the side for a taste, but I didn’t feel like I needed all that love. Add on the salad bar and a rice crispy treat for dessert and that makes for one heck of a meal. The boys loved it! It was fun to see boys try something new.
While there were a few boys that were out for dinner, I am not sure they were any less happy. Windswept, Lakeside, Foxhollow, and Flattop all hit the trail this evening for a cool night in the woods. The time-honored “pita pizza” is a big hit for the cabin overnight meal. We let the boys make just about as many as they want. Sides included some carrots and chips along with the classic s’mores for dessert. They will have a wonderful time around the campfire playing some games and just being boys.
The rest of the guys had some time to run or swim off their dinner calories. I watched some waterslide and rope swing boys go time and again even on this cool night. The oldest boys ripped it up with canoe fill-ups across the lake. Across camp other boys were enjoying some games on the activity field.
The fun never ends. Neither does their training for their next adventure.