Summer for us represents total peace and when I say that I am referring to watching your children navigate to a place of total and complete peacefulness. I walked around camp today and saw groups of campers and counselors playing card games together, throwing the ball to one another, getting into a basketball biddy game, dancing around together, sitting and just talking to one another. Yes of course they were completely engaged in their activities but it’s the other times that they form these moments that literally fill up their souls with what they haven’t had in a long while. It’s why we send our kids to camp, to connect and you just cant walk 10 feet without seeing their connections. It is my most favorite part of this experience and I think its theirs too. A group of boys were sitting around the apple tree playing cards, getting along, laughing and could only be describe as total and complete peace. It happens organically and it is the magic of this place.
There was a camper who shared with me she felt anxious reconnecting with her group of friends and worried about not fitting in. The worry was all over her face when she arrived at camp and she shared how her school year was pretty difficult so she came here desperately wanting to be at peace. She shared how navigating her world on line was so hard and she was so eager to have real friends rather than virtual ones. It took only 1 day for this amazing young woman to get into her groove. She was able to be herself and that worried anxious face she arrived with was replaced with a relaxed ease that drew her friends towards her. I watched her throughout the day and it was as if that coat of armor she wore all school year long was way to heavy to wear here at camp. By days end, she was holding hands with her camp friends and this young amazing girl found her peace. I literally saw her transform in a matter of 24 hours. After tonights evening activity, I approached her and gave her a wink as she ran off with a group of friends who accept and love her. She didn’t seek me out for advice or support. She didn’t need me and I couldn’t be happier. That world outside our gates is sometimes cruel and hard to navigate for some kids but here they can find comfort in being themselves. It was magical and my heart is full knowing for the next 49 days, that camper is at peace here at Chen-A-Wanda.
The day was full of team tryouts and kids were actively playing all over camp. Dance team, baseball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, circus etc.. There was so many happy active kids – nothing better than seeing our kids outside playing and doing what kids are intended to do, Just to Play. After a full day of play, the evening was all about being entertained and Chenny didn’t disappoint. There was love in the air with our camp tradition of The Dating Game. From the Freshman to our CIT’s there were bachelors and bachelorettes asking hilarious and sweet questions and the answers were even better. We laughed from our bellies and had a night that was incredible. It’s days like this that make camp the most incredible experience and why we fall in love with this place. Best news is we get to it all over again tomorrow.