Camp Journal 2018: Week Four

Muggy hot temperatures gave way to a smattering of rain showers this week, enlivening the forest and fields with lush shades of green. The annual flower garden bordering the pasture has exploded with color, berry bushes and garden vegetables ripe for the picking. After a month of living so closely with nature at Camp, children are visibly at ease, in tune and at home with the Treetops community. Campers have gained a tremendous amount of confidence in just a few short weeks. This sureness of spirit is clear from the waterfront to the woodshop, from the trailhead to the barnyard, and yet, at the same time, campers have learned that cultivating confidence in oneself is both journey and a process.

Nowhere is this more evident than at Treetops’ annual chicken harvest. On a damp morning, senior camp gathered in the forest alongside Dexter Pasture to partake in this “challenge by choice.” Participation is optional, but this is a day of mixed emotions for all. Sadness and uncertainty intermingle with a deep reverence for the birds who are giving their lives to sustain us, for the process of providing food for our community, and for the campers and counselors who allow themselves to be a part of this powerful morning. Our oldest campers began the process, one by one, scooping a chicken into their arms and carrying it with care to be harvested. Afterward, children were encouraged to speak freely and reflect upon the experience, sharing any emotions that had arisen for them. One boy expressed how his trepidation transformed into true confidence as he worked his way through the process for the first time, eventually helping others do the same. He came to understand the power of being a role model and guiding others to success. Sharing their experiences and supporting one another through such an emotional process teaches campers important lessons about trust, and shows them that pushing through challenges can be deeply rewarding.

All across Camp, children continue to broaden their horizons in new and unexpected ways, whether riding bareback on a horse under the gentle guidance of our riding staff, or performing to enthusiastic applause in the annual Junior Camp play. We hope that you too will recognize this quiet, newfound confidence in your own child. We look forward to see many of you at Visitors’ Weekend!

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