Today was a sad day at camp.
It’s always a somber sight to see the baggage out in front of the cabins. The very sight is enough to bring some people to tears because the reality has set in that the summer will be over in a matter of hours.
Those bags were packed today, cabins were stripped and the dismantling of the summer is well underway here at Camp Green Lane. That’s sad and sobering for a lot of us.
Of course, we miss you all dearly and we can’t wait to come home. But we’re going to be incredibly sad to say goodbye Saturday morning after a wonderful summer that was two years in the making. A summer that gave us all a chance to run free, to live in bliss surrounded by friends, to forget the real world and everything that comes with it for seven weeks.
It’s not lost on us that we’ll be returning to a world darkened by uncertainty. A world of challenges and obstacles and expectations and responsibilities. All that baggage makes the baggage sitting outside a lot heavier for us this year.
First and foremost, we want to thank you for sharing your awesome children with us and for trusting us to care for them as they were our own. They had an incredible summer, filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. They made life-long friends, learned new skills, and figured out how to solve problems on their own. They gained independence, overcame fears, and did things they never thought they could accomplish.
Some of them fell, some scraped their knees or were stung by bees. Every one of them got back up, dusted themselves off and went back to their next activity. We played and competed hard, we slid in the mud, gathered around campfires, went on hikes and slept under the stars. We laughed and danced and sang and cried and laughed some more.
So, some of us may be sad that summer is almost gone. But we should also be smiling. Because the children coming home to you have gone through an experience that countless experts believe steels and galvanizes them. Sleepaway camp makes them more confident, more social, more adept at solving conflicts.
You learn a lot at camp. Some discover new things or even themselves while they’re here. But you also learn a lot about life—and how to live it fully—while you’re here, too.
So while we may be sad the summer’s almost over, we should be happy these kids have squeezed out every drop this summer had to offer and made the very most of it. We should be thankful they return to the real world having learned these important lessons, that they finally had the chance again to experience the magic of a Camp Green Lane summer again. It will serve them forever.
Camp people are special because they can take on a little more. They’re a little tougher, a little stronger, a little more empathetic and compassionate and loving.
And those are critical qualities to have in today’s day and age.
We’re sad to let them go, but they leave with the tools to take on the world.