Exactly What We Need
June 9, 2021 by Don Gentle
Today was another themed shirt day. I am sure you will appreciate our Hawaiian themed shirt day known as Waikiki Wednesday. These two rocked the themed even as they were heading out on their overnights tonight.
This morning I enjoyed watching the guys roll in from the woods after their overnights. The stories of the “grit” these overnights teach us are always enjoyable. They even create the best memories. I enjoy hearing about how late they stayed up, who ate the most pita pizzas, or even how bad the sleeping conditions were last night. While you never quite know exactly how it will unfold you can always count on the stories. What I do notice is that they find their cabin conditions even more enjoyable 😊.
You can’t beat summer camp when it comes to time outside. Our mountain air is pleasant, and the afternoon showers keep it cool just as it seems to get too hot. The mountains of Western North Carolina are meant for summer camp. That’s why some of our peers have already celebrated mentoring youth for over one hundred years. Best of all, research has shown that spending time outside and in nature can significantly reduce anxiety and depression. Being outside, in fresh air helps lift your mood and your sense of well-being.
I also read that all this outside time boosts chemicals in our body that boost our overall immune system, lowers our blood pressure, and makes us feel less stressed. Being outside improves our self-esteem and helps us feel more creative. After a tough year, summer camp is exactly what the doctor ordered for these boys. It will certainly get them back to what matters most. I’m not sure virtual learning is on that list of mattering most.
For me, I feel more alive when camp is in session. Even when things are not perfect they still seem to be better than no camp at all.
Some of the youngest boys headed out into the wood tonight. They were so excited to have some time around the campfire. Lakeside, Hillside, and Windswept all took to the campsites for the night. It should be another bunch of good stories.
I hope you all are getting some outside time and that your life feels like summer camp at High Rocks.