July 22, 2022- The spunky girl took the cell phone she had left sitting on a chair, in the sunshine, and for a moment, her world came crashing down. Once I told her chaperone that an hour or so in a cool building would revitalize the phone, she was back to being an effervescent twelve-year-old.
Thirty-one young people, each of them a source of brightness or of challenge, at any given time, have been front and center for the past 1 1/2 days. Anyone wondering how a person my age could be in such a situation, and not go bonkers, is missing the big picture. The energy that seems so unmanageable now is going to be the source of a good many solutions to problems that seem insurmountable, to the very people who complain about the kids. Besides, when one takes the time to listen, any person can feel validated.
The small team of adults, each an angel in their own right, brought the campers up from the Phoenix area, for a session that will last until Monday. I stayed until this evening, then came back to Home Base, due to another commitment. It would have otherwise been no problem, to have remained at Bellemont until closing. I will be back up there next weekend, for a shorter camp, with a smaller group of adolescents.
My work was somewhat in the kitchen, and somewhat around campus. Mainly, the task was just being supportive of campers, chaperones and camp staff. We tended to one another’s needs, as if family-which is how a faith community ought to be. When a cabin full of girls reported, through their dorm master, that someone was knocking at their door after lights out, every other camper, chaperone and staff person accounted for their own whereabouts and it was determined that an adult would stand watch outside the cabin, until morning. My boss volunteered himself. If he hadn’t, I would have stayed up. No one threatens or hurts “our” kids. Least of all, do they hurt one another. One of the most important life lessons is building compassion.
Every being has a purpose, and every sentient being has several. I am honoured to be able to contribute, meaningfully, to helping these wonderful souls to find theirs.