We live in a world that values measurements and comparisons. As parents, we don’t realize that we join this comparison game the moment our children are born. How much did he weigh? How long is she? What percentile does he fall into? While we all say, we just want healthy children, we easily get caught up in what the world is telling us healthy and strong looks like.
Someone once said…we measure what we treasure. We love our children so much, and truly all we want is the best for them. Sometimes we believe “the best” is found in a measurement…a grade, a ranking on a team, an award from school or even something completely out of our control like height. It’s silly, but we all do it. The funny thing is that the things that truly ensure that our kids turn out to be “the best” are things that cannot be measured…character!
At camp, shaping, molding and strengthening character is at the heart of all that we do. Our programming, our staff and our mission seek to build our campers from the inside out…hoping they leave stronger at the end of camp than when they came. This can often feel like an unattainable goal, because you can’t measure mental or emotional strength on a scale or from a chart. However, we see strength building each and every day at Camp Highlander.
Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.
Camp is one of the best possible environments for kids to grow stronger through the experience of trying new things, making new friends, or overcoming obstacles in a supportive, yet independent environment. We want camp to be full of friendships, laughter, fun, and activities. But we also know it is a powerful place to build internal strength as they learn to face their fears, overcome failure and celebrate success.
As I watched each cabin, camper, performer walk on the stage for the talent show, I was so proud of the growth I’ve seen in your children this week. The confidence, courage, strength and faith in your childrens’ eyes was truly touching. For some, that strength was there from the moment they stepped under the bright lights. For others, it was slow to start and strong to finish as they found their courage in the cheers of the crowd. And there were still a few who kept their heads down, did their thing on stage and quickly walked off with a sigh of relief that the lights blocked the view of the crowd staring back at them. In the end, they all did it! Was one stronger than another? No. All different, all strong!
I love that camp is a place of enormous positive energy, a place marked by kindness and love, a place of smiles and meaningful friendships. In such a setting, we become stronger, more confident and resilient. At camp, they learn to overcome failure and disappointment through perseverence. It is here they find their voice and communicate their feelings. Camp gives valuable tools to help them problem solve and be a part of a team…tools that will impact their future careers and relationships. Growing stronger…it might just be “the best” reason to send your children to camp!
Favorite Details of the Day
- Reflect at the Rock: This morning David, our lower boys head counselor, talked to us about his passion for running. He shared with us the life lessons he has learned from this passion that apply to all of our lives. First, progress takes time - if you don’t give up on something, you will get better. Second, believe in yourself - you will accomplish what you believe you can do. Third, the bad days make the good days better - we all have bad days and that is ok, but remember that there’s always another day coming that will be better.
- Meals: For breakfast we had cinnamon, scrambled eggs, bacon and a fruit bar. For lunch we had walking tacos with all the fixings like salsa, sour cream, homemade guacamole, cheese and lettuce. The salad bar was the perfect complement for a mean taco salad. For dinner we enjoyed Dale’s famous bbq - pulled pork, pulled chicken, mac and cheese, baked beans, vinegar coleslaw and salad bar. Gus’ was our dessert tonight!
- Weather: It was another beautiful day in western North Carolina. The sun was shining, and the only complaint I heard was that it was hot today! I won’t complain about the heat because there were blue skies and no rain!
- EP: Tonight’s EP was Talent Show! I laughed, I cried, I danced in my seat and sang along to all the amazing performances from your children tonight. I just love the courage displayed from our campers on this night. What I love even more is the support, cheers and encouragement from the crowd and their friends. It is so beautiful to watch, and tonight my heart is full!