We know that exercise makes us stronger. To be a champion, you need to go the extra mile. The very best are first to arrive at the gym, and the last to leave. They add the extra set, the extra rep, and take the extra time.
At Skylemar, we have lots of those. The champions are our counselors like D’Arcy and Cole, who play tennis with early risers, even though they weren’t assigned to do so. Or QLew, who has such a positive attitude that it rubs off on others. There’s Holly, Cory, Luci and Kristen who do everything from picking up lost & found, fixing a pair of glasses, making snow cones, to drying tears…none of which are in their job description. Then there’s those who don’t even have an official job title, like Aaron, Bruce, and Leslie who just do whatever it takes to help camp, with asking only for smiles in return.
Physically speaking, at Skylemar we certainly see the positive effects of exercise. Between sports all day and just walking from place to place, we watch the boys grow upwards in ways that make us proud. Some lose weight, some gain and some stay the same, but that’s not the point. It’s about standing up straighter and walking taller than they did the first day.
Conversely, sometimes we forget about the power of exercising the brain. We’re not talking about Sudokus or crossword puzzles – we mean real life experiences that help boys to practice for what comes along in the future.
At camp, all is certainly not perfect. But when little things don’t go your way it exercises the brain, which is good practice for life. For example, suppose a boy would prefer to be in a different cabin. Or perhaps he feels offended by what others say to him. Or maybe he finds certain kids incredibly annoying. If we solve it for him by simply removing him from the situation, he never learns how to correct, adjust, understand and handle stressful times. Instead, here we strive to guide a boy when times are tough, hopefully teaching him to advocate for himself and make the best out of a situation -- let something roll off his back, accept those of all types, and to bounce back when feeling down. We all, young and old, learn that happiness is a decision you make, not something that’s given to you.
Like physical exercise, some might want to avoid brain exercise. It’s hard stuff that doesn’t necessarily sound fun. But if you show up and try your best, this practice makes you stronger than ever, getting you ready for whatever comes next.
Our “next” was the Blow-Up Carnival, 10U Intracamp Tennis Championship, 14U Volleyball Intercamp, Water Balloon Catapults and GACU. In between were a dozen sports and 100 opportunities for becoming stronger than ever.