Feeling Free and Loving It

Another beautiful day in Paradise. The sun was beaming today and felt as if it was shining down on just us. Our little space in the world, secluded and insulated from everything outside our gates. There is no difference between how a Monday feels or a Saturday does up here at Chenny. No concept of time other than hearing the bugles and announcements that direct us where we need to be. I often say how “free” we are up here but it is a word that truly depicts what it feels like to live here all summer long. There is no time to feel bored, no opportunities to sit an watch Netflix or stare at a screen for hours on end. Our days a packed with things to do and relationships to build. I am a fly on the wall that watches it unfold right in front of my eyes and it isn’t just the campers who inhale this experience. A first year counselor approached me after dinner with tears in her eyes and asked me “how does this place make me feel this way?” She explained that dancing in front anyone was something she would never do. She relayed how she is painfully shy and would never in a million years dance or sing in front of anyone, even her family. She said how free she feels here and couldn’t believe this piece existed inside of her. She danced with co-counselors and sang with her campers at the top of her lungs during dinner tonight – I know this because I was watching her transform into someone who was so very different when she arrived at camp. She was guarded and quiet and kept to herself. It was like watching a flower blossom. She felt free and let go of those insecurities. I explained to her that this is what happens here – you are truly allowed to be exactly who you are here without judgement. She left the Lodge with her campers surrounding her, holding her hands and feeling just as limitless she she did. That is the power of this place. We let go, we trust and then we fly.

We are as good as our team and our team is beyond incredible. They have blown our minds with their contagious energy and  insane amounts of camp spirit. Even just meeting our newest kids just 2 days ago, they have fallen for every kid on this camp. They are vested in your children and the experience they want to provide. To watch a 20 year old counselor walk though camp holding hands with an 8 year old camper they just met 2 days ago, is witnessing the joy of this experience we call sleep-away camp . I am always so amazed at how quick the bonds are formed but when our hearts are open to new people coming into our lives, the results are meaningful and impacts us all. It was our Staff Talent show tonight and we have some incredibly talented staff here with us this summer. Campers watched and cheered on their counselors as they sang, danced, told jokes and even played the ukulele. Shields Hall was going crazy tonight with cheers and standing ovations as your kids totally and completely supported their counselors on stage.  It was a night to remember and your children made me proud. They sang along and cheered to all the acts that entertained us tonight. It’s hard to describe the energy in the Hall tonight but us lucky ones who experienced it first hand will never forget it!

It was another day living well, happy and free at Camp Chen-A-Wanda!

Chenny out