Wait! I’m Not Ready to Leave!
July 20, 2022 by Don Gentle
It’s hard to believe we are hitting the last few days of the session here already. I enjoyed seeing another group of trips out this morning including the Mini Men canoers making their first river trips down the French Broad. My hope is that it is one of many in the future. There was another group of Mini Men hitting the High Ropes course today. I stopped by to introduce them to a fine young boy who is thinking about coming to camp to ask them how they felt about High Rocks. They all had different answers for our young prospect, but I felt he enjoyed seeing boys his age at camp. It’s always a gamble, but you get a straight answer when you ask a random group of campers about their experience. You could tell he could just picture himself doing the same thing when he comes to High Rocks.
It is that time of the session when everyone is trying to squeeze out that last bit of joy from camp. You can see it in the activities, the cabin, and even during the evening program. The boys know the time is drawing near and there are only a few days left. This time of the July session is particularly busy. There are so many opportunities not only in activities but for other special events too!
There has been a 3-on-3 basketball tournament that has been lingering all month. The last few rounds of the camper-counselor tennis tournament are nearing an end as well. I am looking forward to taking the rest of the Upper Senior boys off to an evening of golf across the street. We have a wonderful par 3 course that I worked with the manager to allow us to exclusively play after hours. I will get to hang out with some cool dudes at the links.
We are definitely in the “norming” part of our group process here at camp. The boys have learned how to work together, accept differences, and even realize that from time to time we all need help. Leaders are not always out in front, sometimes they need to let others earn their wings. These boys surprise me every day with their thoughtfulness and their skill. This immersion has created something new in these young men that we hope you will see at home. I heard a second-year boy explain how there are just so many great things at camp every day that you can never be bored. It is all part of this 28-day expedition we call camp. These last few days are some of the best.
I tell parents that it’s not even fair sometimes. You can never be as cool as our staff. One of the key reasons all this works is because our camp staff is admired so much by these boys. It gives the staff a precise advantage to handle all that comes their way because the boys want to stay on their good side. Adult mentors are an important part of every child’s life. The important part to remember is that these mentors cannot be their parents. It’s that need to impress and desire to please these mentors that make it work. It’s also the kind heart and the ability to expect a lot that adds to that dynamic. It’s a funny dynamic, but it sure is a whole lot more than soccer balls and canoes…