During pre-camp, we teach the value of getting your MBWA (management by walking around) – the concept that the more present we are as staff and supervisors, the more accountable we’ll hold those we’re responsible for, and the more little things we’ll observe and give feedback on (both the good and the bad).
At first I was sad that with a baby in my arms I can’t participate as much in camp activities this year as much as I usually do, but in the past weeks I’ve found unexpected pleasure and pride in the little moments I notice when I’m in an observing role. Last night at campfire we gave out some 10 year jackets and I was inspired to write about 10 seemingly small but special moments I’ve observed recently around camp:
- The Senior Boy who was so anxious as a Junior that he never spoke a word, now playing electric guitar and singing a solo in front of the whole camp.
- The instructor who came back early from his day off to take a camper who had worked all summer on his canter bracelet on his first trail.
- The counsellor who burst into tears when the Junior Boy he had been working with all month finally passed his swim test and was able to extend to the full month at camp.
- The campers I oversaw looking at the statue of the Red Gods from the old Main Lodge fireplace discussing the appropriateness of using historical Indigenous symbols.
- The mowhawked, body-building instructor reading poetry he wrote for the first time in front of the full camp.
- The Inter Boys who think it’s the funniest thing ever to come to meals early and sit at the Head Table before the managers arrive.
- The awed hush that falls over the crowd watching Arowhon A (our high class style swimming award) when a kid performs a perfect dive.
- The look on a Junior’s face when they catch a fish with Lou.
- The roar that goes through the Main Lodge when a Staff of the Day is announced.
- The Inter Girls walking arm and arm to dinner in matching outfits for twin night.