Friday, July 29, 2011

Camping it up

I am feeling summer-campy today, and so I'm reposting something here that I originally wrote as a Facebook note a while back, slightly edited. I was reminded of its existence because an old camp friend posted (his slightly edited version of) the morning grace from the camp we share:
Give me clean hands, clean words, clean thoughts.
Help me to stand for the hard right against the easy wrong.
Save me from habits that harm.
Teach me to work as hard and to play as fair, in my sight alone, as if the whole world saw.
Forgive me when I am unkind, and help me to forgive those who are unkind to me.
Send me chances to do a little good each day, so I may grow and know more.
Nice, right?

Anyway, that old note on camp:

The ACA has a "Because of Camp" page with the following instructions:
"List the Top 10 things you loved and/or learned at camp on the Because of Camp…™ Wall, and/or in the “notes” section of your profile and then share those memories by tagging your friends."
I've been to a lot of camps (more than 10), and learned and loved a lot of people and things (more than 10,000, not that I've counted). But I've narrowed down to ten camps, if not ten things.

  1. Because of Pony Farm, I learned to ride. I also met Gene Robinson and his then-wife, Boo, who have had a bigger influence on me than I suspect either of them knows.

  2. Because of Aloha Hive, I started deliberately not wearing big logos on my clothes. I first heard the beautiful thwack of an arrow hitting a target, I hollered in an echoey tunnel, I learned to paddle a canoe, I made baskets while sitting at the end of the dock with my toes holding reeds in the water.

  3. Because of that one computer camp I don't remember the name of, I know that I had — and have — a capacity for smarts that weren't just about reading and writing.

  4. Because of The Philadelphia School's summer program, I found a book that changed my life and remains one that I wrestle with, tried falafel for the first time, and was inspired to learn Latin.

  5. Because of Middlesex School Summer Arts, I learned to get along with the "cool kids" by acting as though I felt as confident as I wanted to be. I also learned my first sun salutation.

  6. Because of Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall Summer Theater School, I know I can sing, loud, if I'll just relax into it. I also know the techies are the ones really having all the fun.

  7. Because of Jacob and Rose Grossman Day Camp, I learned not to try to pass, even when I could. And that Hydrox are kosher, unlike Oreos.

  8. Because of Camp Takodah, I have some of the best friends I've ever had. I'm more comfortable taking risks, more comfortable taking charge. I also learned the phrase "take the hard right against the easy wrong," which I still say at least weekly.

  9. Because of Hornet's Nest, I'm confident in my ability to hire and manage and sing the sardines song.

  10. Because of Week in the Park, I know that you can run a summer program for kids in the horriblest heat, even without a swimming facility — as long as there's an ice rink.

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