It might be the week after Thanksgiving but after spending a few days down at camp this week I have to say that I am still so thankful to be able to call Minnehaha Springs ‘home’ for the summer, in fact for anytime of year. In this latter part of November the mornings were crisp and frosty and the days were warm and rich with sunshine. The nights were clear and presented stunning, starry skies.
It was so great being there for a busy couple of productive days, with great and productive discussions including (but not limited to) ropes course maintenance, upcoming lake projects, archery improvements, staff lounge, firepit locations and much more!
T’was the night before the deadline, and all through the town
Every camp family, wanted to keep tuition down
Camp shirts were worn, sometimes to school
Knowing their friends would think that was cool
Campers were remembering fun times they had
With visions of summer; crazy and silly – not sad!
Amy and Iain, planning for the summer ahead
From morning at breakfast, to nighttime in bed
Fun times for sure, for all who attend
If plans change, do not fear we’ll mend
Deposits refund, sessions can change
We’ll make everything work, always willing to rearrange!
So enroll online and save money today
Knowing the summer is not too far away…
In the midst of our busiest time for returning families securing their summer spot, I was struck by a number of applications this morning. One was for a 16-year old female camper returning for her 10th summer, another was a couple of 14-year old campers returning for their 7th summers. Wow, I thought. These numbers really hit home the fact that we are so fortunate to welcome these children and families back to camp each summer.
As young adults they have chosen to spend a great deal of their formative youth, and their free time each summer, with us at camp. The options they have each summer are numerous and can involve unlimited exposure to sports, cultures and much more. That our campus located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia continues to hold an allure for them is impressive and speaks volumes towards their character and priorities.
As we see them grow in stature, size and maturity it is impossible not to be impressed. Too often we look down on the next generation and worry about what they hold in store for those of us that might depend on them in some respect. Check out this quote from a few years back, 8th century BC to be precise!
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today” – Hesiod
8th century. BC. Greek Poet. Woah!
Despite this omnipresent sense of forboding, there is hope. And that hope shows itself to us in the form of young adults who choose to be back with us each summer and truly grow up in some small or large way each summer at Camp Twin Creeks. If you have one of these long term campers in your home, thank you for your support and ongoing encouragement summer after summer!
On any given day as we work in our camp office and survey our camp-related emails and social media feeds we often receive article links that pertain to children, the world they live in and more as it pertains to summer camp. As parents, Amy and I acknowledge that we are learning and watching each and everyday as our kids grow and move through the world. All of us parents probably have similar fears and concerns and ultimately just want the best for our kids as they grow. With that being said here are a couple of pieces that we found most interesting.
The first article I wanted to share is a lengthy one and contains some stunning statistics regarding adolescents and their use of social media and electronic devices in general.
The second is a TED talk video that asks for bravery, adventure and the option for girls specifically to be allowed to try to take flight, literally and figuratively. We might not parasail at Twin Creeks but I would imagine a similar feeling of exhilaration exists as a camper prepares to jump off the zip line platform or get up on a waterski.
Summer camp is not the only solution of course but we continue to feel that a 2-week stay allows campers to make great choices, enjoy time away from electronic screens and experience so many scenarios and personalities on any given day. We hope you agree and look forward to seeing your child back at camp in 2018!
I saw this sign outside a local house of worship on a recent dog walk and it struck me enough to cross the street, remove my gloves, hold the dog carefully with one hand and take a picture with my phone. After several blurred attempts that I blame the dog for, I managed to get this picture.
The message on the sign made me think about summer camp. It made me think about the fact that in this age of distraction, typically as a result of modern technology and busy schedules, time away at summer camp truly can offer a departure from distraction. Instead; children focus on friendships, nature, fun activities, positive role models, traditions, even boredom and conflicts sometimes!
And talk about the luxury of paying attention! Campers pay attention to each other. They learn about different homes, different cultures and backgrounds, languages too. Campers pay attention to the young adults that become the most important part of their daily cabin lives. These camp counselors become powerful and positive role models.
Campers also pay attention to the fact that they can accomplish this feat of being away from the comforts of home for 2 weeks, away from the loved ones that they usually rely on for all matters large and small.
Our camp directors and leadership team also pay attention to the children in our care, to the growth we see in them and the development of fine young adults that takes place in front of our very eyes as campers return summer after summer. On a daily and practical basis, we pay attention to ensure each child is safe, happy, clean, hydrated, protected from the sun and enjoying themselves to the fullest!
Everybody here at Camp truly believes in this departure from distraction and we hope that you get to sample it at some point soon too, either at camp or at another destination of your choosing!
Footnote; Siddharth Pico Raghavan Iyer, known as Pico Iyer, is a British-born essayist and novelist of Indian origin, best known for his travel writing.