The Spirit of Summer Camp
At Falling Creek, as I’m sure is the case with all camps, we often talk about what defines our “spirit”. Though in the past we have said that the “Spirit of Falling Creek” is unselfishness, I am more convinced than ever that this is true of the “Spirit of Summer Camps” as a whole.
For these past couple of months, it has been hard to focus on anything other than the coronavirus and the uncertainty ahead. However, even though we have all been much more physically distant, we have also been feeling the support of the camp community in a huge way. Not only have camp folks shown unselfishness by canceling their plans for the safety of others, but I have seen unselfishness modeled in the willingness to share knowledge, check in with each other, and offer help wherever possible. While some industries are responding to this uncertainty by tightening their circles and increasing their competitiveness, the camp industry has responded by opening their arms and increasing collaboration with each other.
Just one example of this has been through the sharing of ideas within NCYCA on how to operate camp according to CDC guidelines, and thoughts on communicating with parents during this time. However, another example that I’ve found helpful is the support offered on the “COVID-19 Camp” forum on Slack.com. Camp directors from around the country and the world have been willingly sharing their letters to parents, advice to staff, and general tips for navigating such an unprecedented time.
No one is making camp directors share these resources. They are doing so with the belief that “all boats rise,” and that our unselfishness throughout this time will help us make it through as a camp community. A community that extends past those that you welcome up your camp road each summer and beyond the bonds of things like capture the flag.
I’m continually grateful for the unselfishness that permeates the entire “Spirit of Summer Camp”. Though we are all taking things one day at a time in the current camp industry, I find comfort knowing that the community is full of unselfish, resilient, flexible, capable, and caring camp professionals, who are all there to support each other.