It’s “Big Trip Week” here at Skylemar. That’s when the boys go on overnights, based on the amount of years they’ve been at camp. For instance, first year campers go on the Cannon Mountain Trip, second year goes to Boothbay, third to Winnepesaukee, fourth to Mt. Washington, fifth to Quebec, and so forth.
It’s amazing how we miss a group that’s gone. For instance, Luci missed her boys in Bunk 1 so much that she cleaned their cabin from top to bottom, despite knowing that within minutes of their return it will be messy again.
Those away have a great time, but after one on two nights are eager to get back to camp. After all, sometimes it takes being away to realize what you miss most. That’s how your son feels about you, from the moment he departed. Still, there’s nothing like the joy of coming home.
For those who are here, it’s fun as well. On any given day this week there are half the number of campers. That makes for a slower pace, and there’s an extra warm vibe. It reminds us how fortunate we are to be a small, personalized camp, as opposed to a place with hundreds who don’t know each other.
We know that boys thrive and learn the most in small groups. Perhaps that’s all of us, for it’s human nature to break down what’s large into a manageable size. For example, whether you go to a large school or a small one, your close circle of friends ends up being the same number.
We also know that boys flourish when they’re loved and cared for by a multitude of people. No one person can cover it all, and we’ve anecdotally proven that boys are terrific from all types and styles of family units. What’s extra important are the adults who surround and envelope the child with love, like grandparents, special “aunts” and “uncles” (related or not), teachers, coaches and of course, camp counselors.
In any one day at Camp Skylemar, many lessons are learned. We wish the outside world would pay attention to some of the strong, powerful and sensitive discussions we have. Here's just a few of the many points tossed around this week:
- Hurting with hands, weapons or words, never helps. Never.
- Take a stand for what’s right. Be the first to be brave, and others will follow.
- Lying will always get you into trouble. Maybe not today, but definitely tomorrow.
- Friends can be mean sometimes, so learn to forgive.
Maybe a Skylemar TED Talk is in order?