Summer?

I am looking at the calendar, and it tells me it is June, but with daytime highs of 66 and 57, we are finding that hard to believe! Fortunately, the happy sounds of camp are here. There is nothing that beats the hum of camp: doors shutting, conversations happening, music playing, laughter being shared, balls bouncing on various courts, and instructions being given in the riding rings.

We have been very intentional in checking with our girls about their level of comfort. We have passed out extra blankets and will continue to do so through this cold spell. We did make a WalMart run to pick up some inexpensive pairs of sweatpants for some of our younger ones who were in need of an extra pair of warm pants in the wet weather. With luck, we will see the 70’s by Thursday. We did have a gully washer Sunday afternoon when 2 inches of rain fell in 45 minutes. It is always good to remember that we live in a temperate rain forest in Transylvania County! There were thunderstorms predicted for today, but fortunately when it rained it only fell as a manageable mist.

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So, how are we? How is camp going? We are doing really well. We miss Ms. Bertha, but we are working with many of her favorite recipes. The girls are enjoying the food and have told me it is very good. Every day, we are evaluating what we are doing and how we are doing it. This small group to start the summer makes this constant evaluation possible and allows us to tweak processes. One of our new opportunities we discovered was at the Infirmary. In the past, for nighttime medications, the girls glom around the dutch door with accompanying friends waiting on the benches. This summer, we have a one way direction to walk across the porch for nighttime medications.The nurses and I installed our “Please Wait Here” floor decals, and the girls are terrific about waiting on their square before proceeding forward. Nighttime meds have never gone more smoothly. The nurses are thrilled! We are also seeing very low numbers (only 2 so far today) of visits to the Infirmary for the common camp ailments of headaches, stomachaches, blisters, bug bites, etc. With different hand-washing stations, we are able to spread out before entering the dining hall. Counselors complete the daily health checks while the girls are waiting their turn to go through the serving line. Masks are used when we are moving around the dining hall and while being served at the different stations. The cabins have become “families,” and that allows us to feel pretty normal when together.

The campers tell me they are so happy to be at camp. They are enjoying having more time together as cabin groups and age cohorts. The constant interaction with their cabins seems to be creating a stronger sense of belonging and purpose. No one is ever walking alone as the groups go everywhere together. With the change in activity scheduling for the summer, some girls are taking advantage of activities they have never tried before, even after being here for more than 5 years! How great to make new discoveries. Additionally, after the past months of quarantine, it is exciting to see the girls reengage in the camp community. Others need their friendship and their attention; they have a role to fill that supports others and adds to the quality of their cabin life. This community needs them, and they need this community.

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We are so glad to be together. We know there is a risk in being together, but everyone has been so respectful of the protocols and is willing to do what is asked to do our best to care for each other. Flexibility is the name of the game this summer, and allow me to quote Diane Tyrrell:

There is no such thing as a ‘best’ practice because there will always be a better practice.

We all continue to learn and adjust each day.

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