Have faith Bonnie, have faith!

November 17, 2014 at 6:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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A couple of weekends ago I watched the movie ‘Camp’. I saw the trailer for it a couple of weeks before that and was intrigued as to what it would be like. As you may know if you’ve been following this blog, my professional background involves both teaching and outdoor education positions here in Australia, as well as in the UK, America and East Africa. My first taste of working at camp though came in 2003 in Bear Mountain, NY, an experience (along with the other two summers I spent at that camp) that will stay with me forever.

“Campers: Nature’s way of feeding mosquitoes.” – Author Unknown

Going to camp or camping in general definitely isn’t everyones first choice for a holiday but for me camping was something we always did growing up and remains a big part of what I have done right throughout my life. For me, there is really nothing like being under the stars, sitting around a fire, connecting with others through stories, games and of course marshmallows. I consider myself very lucky that I found outdoor education along my professional journey. It was a perfect way to spend more time at camp once I got back to Australia.

“I swear there are about a million rocks underneath me,” [Dylan] said grouchily.
Think of it as therapeutic. Like a shiatsu massage.” (Sadie)
You obviously have a much better imagination than me,” he said.”
– Sarah Mayberry, Take on Me

The title of this post is a quote from the movie ‘Camp’ that I watched. It jumped out at me as some of the Counsellors were discussing the particular campers coming in for their first day and the concerns over potential behaviours because of certain lived experiences. I can very much relate to the types of discussions that took place in the movie and also the mixture of feelings like excitement and apprehension at the very same time as you hope that the camp experience will provide a space for each participant to have fun, try new things, make new friends, feel safe and comfortable and so much more, all within the complex web of lives that include connections and contexts that you may never fully find out about or be able to fully comprehend.

“‘Saturday Night Live’ was actually started with a show that Lorne Michaels and I did at a summer camp called Timberlane in Ontario when we were 14 and 15. We would do an improvisational show with music, comedy and acting.”
– Howard Shore

Camp for me has always been a collection of experiences that foster feelings of hope and faith. Even in the toughest of times, the tiredest of times, the times when frustration or fear creep in, someone or something, big or small, commonplace or exceptional, reminds you of what is most important, at our core, why you do what you do or just what letting go and embracing joy looks, sounds and feels like. Here are just a few of my thoughts that I have been reminded of through my time at camp;

  • That there is a child inside all of us that just wants to play.
  • If you grease up a watermelon and throw it into a pool it can provide for so much fun.
  • That the rain doesn’t have to mean you move indoors, it just means you may get wet.
  • Any activity or chore can be enjoyable, if you choose to see it that way and all pitch in.
  • That the only thing stopping someone joining in or getting involved is them.
  • Celebrating near misses can be as much fun as celebrating successes.
  • TEAM really does = Together Everyone Achieves More.

“The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another.  It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.”  – Henry David Thoreau 

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