Ok, so I’m going to try put down some of my wandering thoughts I have about camp and life. I will be posting them on the blog, and believe it or not I really enjoy trying to figure out different out looks on life-what makes people tick.
One of the great parts of camp is being around young men who are still trying to figure out the world and meaning of life. It’s such a heavy topic! I do admit that sometimes dealing with these situations is difficult with all the emotions that get going. I, for the record, think that camp is the perfect place to come and grow and have the room to find some answers. However, this does not mean you find all answers. But you will find some.
Also, sometimes it is years later before you realize that you learned life skills at camp because it is such a unique experience. At the time, the lessons or skills might seem mundane and trivial- such as learning to properly introduce yourself while looking the person in the eye or making your bed. However, these are very important things to learn and skills you will use every day of your life.
Year after year, grown men stop by the camp and pass along their tales of camp. Sometimes their years here didn’t amount to much-many coming only a year or two but they always remember their time here.
One time, this gentleman came by on his bicycle that he was riding all the way across the USA (crazy I say-but hey, I ride horses, so there you go). He had been here over 45 years ago and attended only one term back when they were six weeks long. He gave so much credit to his success in life from that one summer at camp! He didn’t have any reason for not coming back for another term, he just said he would tell his parents he didn’t wish to go to camp. Not for any real reason except he wanted to stay home. It would not be until later that he would look back on it as one of his best life experiences. I think that a lot of young men are that way. I know my father Si always said if you don’t know how to do something you will say things like “I don’t like that” or “I don’t want to” and don’t give things another try. Many people do this as adults, too. That is what is so great about camp. Camp helps with getting out of that comfort zone, trying new things and maybe not getting it perfect the first time. And that is ok. All those things are learning experiences.
Ok, so to try and wrap this up, I think camp is about the only place you can find that offers a way to learn these life skills. The ability to have confidence in the choices you make comes with having a place to practice without your parents being there to manage the situation for you. Making friends and learning skills to better navigate through all the obstacles that get thrown at you are also benefits. Living in a group and dealing with different personalities is such a good way to practice and learn good social skills as well.
I love the fact that colleges and universities are starting to give camp more credit for some of this independence and success. Lots of good research on this topic. More about that later!
I think I will stop here- but don’t worry, I will be posting plenty more thoughts as we go along!