In any one day at camp there are a thousand things that go right, as well as a handful that don’t go to plan. As expected, when living together in one room there are arguments and feelings hurt. There are times when our fuse is short or we forget to think about the outcome of our words or actions.
Most can be fixed with a Skylemar apology. It’s a four-step process that goes like this: You feel sorry. You say you’re sorry. You do something to show that you’re sorry. You commit to never doing it again. Give it a try this winter…
Another thing that’s worth a try is considering how another person feels when you’re on an electronic device. Certainly there is tremendous value in a cell phone or iPod or whatever’s the latest. But at camp we’re blown away by the positive difference it makes for a boy to live outside of his electronic world, surrounded by adults who, instead of looking at phones, are looking at faces.
A group of kids told us this yesterday. We were making a list of what makes a good “grown-up” (for example, a counselor). According to some of our “experts”, a grownup should be fair, should let us have fun but stop us when we get out of control, should care enough to learn about us and show interest, and they shouldn’t be on the phone or computer all the time. Why? Because “it feels like the phone’s more important than me." Hmmmm…
There were some things that went really right today, where we totally focused on doing for others. Bunk 25 volunteered at Camp Sunshine, a nearby camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses, as well as their families. It was a gift for our guys to play with the little ones, and Jalen M had the privilege of dressing up as their mascot, Sunny the Bear.
Bunk 19 sponsored one of the weekly meals at the Bridgton Community Center. The “Community Kettle” is a free dinner for those in need of a hot meal as well as socializing. Most attending were elderly, although a few were families with children.
After lunch they washed hands, put on gloves and took over the Skylemar kitchen to prepare and cook the meal for 60. They layered lasagnas, sliced fresh vegetables for a giant salad, put together an apple dessert, and then cleaned up afterwards. Once all was finished we loaded up the van and headed to serve.
Right from the start of this project, the boys truly cared. They wanted the food to look and taste perfect, not for themselves but for others.
They became waiters, serving each guest personally. Watching them eagerly make conversation with grandparent-types was unforgettable. When a guest needed anything at all, it was a race between boys to take care of the person.
Best part of all was how our guys expressed gratitude for having this opportunity. They never once complained or asked anything about themselves. After all, it’s Cool2Care.