June 29, 2019

Day One of Program!

Today was the first day of the full on camp activity program. The lake filled with kids skippering sailboats, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking. The riding rings were full and kids also rode trail rides. The Junior Play, The Lion King, was announced with a cool costumed skit at breakfast. It was generally a great and busy camp day for everyone, with smiles galore.

But it was at 5:10, the end of the activity day, that I was most moved. I stopped by the canoe dock where the campers were just leaving and Ben, the head canoeing instructor, was sitting on a log with his staff (3 Assistant canoeing instructors). They were debriefing their teaching day. Ben said: “We ran a great 4th period, maybe the most fun period I’ve ever had at the canoe dock. The kids had a blast practicing capsizing….  But how do we add the learning to the fun?” They brainstormed some, and then Ben flattered me by suggesting I might have some wisdom on that point. Thanks to 30 years running camp, I was able to offer some pointers. The canoe staff got all excited and made plans for the next warm day capsizing class.

Then I walked by the sail dock and surf dock, where the teaching staff were also debriefing their teaching day. And I thought: How wonderful    for young leaders to be reflecting on their work and growing through experience, thinking about what works and what doesn’t work. This is the magic of our camp journey…. or at least one component of it.

yours from Teepee Lake, where the sun is gilding the far shore of the lake as it drops,

Joanne Kates




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