this is my blog, where i write about things you don't and shouldn't care about
There's a song we sing at camp called "Magic." It's a bittersweet song about growing up. One of the lyrics in the last verse goes, "Magic did not fade away, it took a new disguise." Like I talked about in my last post, I think this line especially applicable to camp.
One of my favorite parts about camp is seeing the kids grow as people. Last year there was a girl who we’ll call Patricia. Because of poor planning and limited space, this eight-year-old got placed in a cabin with twelve to fifteen-year-olds. At first the older girls were annoyed with her, which is understandable. Having an eight-year-old kid in your cabin isn’t exactly a teenager’s dream. It was especially hard on Patricia at first, because she struggled to fit in with the girls.
The younger campers tend to want to stay inside and do activities like arts and crafts, while the older ones tend to want to do things like hiking and camping. At first, Patricia wanted to do things like tie-dye and bracelet making, which the older girls simply weren’t as interested in. They split the schedule up so that they were doing the “Patricia” activities half of the time, and the “Big Girl” activities the other half. But after trying out the older girls’ choices some, Patricia ended up liking them better. Being able to do things they all enjoyed together brought the girls closer as a group, and Patricia ended up finding her place in the group and loved the rest of her time with that cabin.
The two weeks passed, and since Patricia was signed up for two sessions, she was assigned to a new cabin with girls her age. She still loved these girls and enjoyed her time with them, but her cabin counselor noted that she tended to spend more time talking to older girls outside her cabin, and that she didn’t bond as much with the activities they were doing in her cabin. I told her to try doing some more activities usually saved for older girls and see how it goes.
Towards the end of this second session, Patricia’s birthday happened. Her mother had sent her some birthday gifts in the mail, but because she lived a good distance away, they didn’t arrive until several days later. Instead of singing the typical Happy Birthday song, my friend and I had arranged for the camp to sing a special birthday version of her favorite camp song. She was ecstatic at this. “Sorry your birthday presents didn’t come in time.” I said. “No, this is the best birthday present I could’ve gotten!” she said, and hugged us. It was hard to believe that this was the same girl who had whined about wanting to do pottery instead of canoeing.
She started doing things like helping out the other girls when they got homesick, helping wash dishes in the mess hall after dinner, and asking to learn how to start the campfires. Even though she has a while to go before she’s old enough to be a counselor, I know that she’ll do a great job someday.