I participated in a ceremony tonight where all past members of the Curve (where the 15 year old girls live) speak about what the Curve means to them. Curve alumni of all ages talked about how being at camp taught them to be their best selves – to embrace diversity, to not take themselves too seriously, to rise to challenges, to hold your friends close, and to love yourself. I have been marvelling for the last few days at current campers demonstrating these values. Throughout Colour War, captains of all teams focussed as much on supporting each other as they did on winning. In the play last night they cued each other’s lines and courageously sung and danced their hearts out to “Frozen”. Campers of all ages took more pride in accomplishments of their friends than their own. They persevered in the face of disappointment and failure and said “I can’t wait to try again next year” with smiles on their faces. They shed tears at the end of their last period as campers (which the Curves and Smalls spent sailing together) and vowed to keep their friendships alive throughout the year.
In the past 20 years since I was a teenager at camp, a lot has changed. I watch the Curves of today being so much more confident, accepted and accepting, and self-aware than I ever was, and realize how special it is that these adolescents get a break from TikTok, make-up, grade pressure, and the traumas of the world. My hope for them is that they can carry a piece of this safe haven with them wherever they go, and know that they can always return next summer.