Hi. This is your child’s summer camp. I know we don’t talk much this time of year. Hey – it’s really cold and I’m not one for talking much. But, in mid-winter, I get a chance to think a bunch without all the commotion of the summer.
One thing I realized I need to express to you is this: thank you.
Thank you for sending your children to come play on my grounds, learn in my classrooms, & swim in my lake. I’ve been around for a long time and each summer feels like the first.
Starting in April, all these great young men and women pour over me for several weeks, giving my grass a cut, fixing up the little dings from Mother Nature’s winter, preparing great things for the coming party.
These staff members get so excited when talking and thinking and planning about the kids arriving. I do, too.
And then it happens: cars and buses arrive full of kids! Young and old, new and returning, happy and (a few) fearful. They arrive from all over the place – different backgrounds, different experiences, different states and countries…. It’s so much fun!
What amazes me is how the pageantry and party of the first day transitions into the ‘normal flow of awesomeness’ so quickly. My Dining Hall literally rocks with the singing and dancing. My fields are full. My arts facilities smell of paint and clay and wood dust. And it all just… works and sings and shines, no matter the weather.
(Yes, my grass gets pummeled but I’m here to help grow great kids, not grow grass….)
I can’t tell you happy it makes this old camp to host so much love and joy and laughter and learning. It’s a gift to see these children grow into young adults. It’s even more fun to see so many return as staff members to help the next generation of campers grow into independent, courageous, competent, and confident people.
Parents, I’m old enough to realize that this would not happen without your trust and your desire to give your child the gift of summer camp. Without you, I’d probably be a condo complex or sub-division or field for cows to enjoy. Being a place where kids come to learn and grow is so much better.
Your kids are a gift to me. And the community they get to create at summer camp is a worthy launching pad for their limitless futures. I can’t wait to see what they have in store me this coming summer.
So, as we get close to Valentines Day, I want to express all this to you.
By: Cole Kelly, who isn’t just an actual camp whisperer but also the Director of Camp Weequahic, a coed summer camp located in Lakewood, PA for children ages 8 to 16.