Today was our last pizza lunch.
With last night’s trip to ice skating and this morning’s jaunt to paintball for the oldest boys in camp, we’ve taken our last yellow bus trips of the summer. Tournaments are wrapping up and Leagues winners have mostly been crowned. After starting the summer with a blank canvas filled with so much excitement, so much promise, and what we foolishly felt was so much time, we’re sadly down to merely hours before we have to start packing.
Summers are short. Time passes far too fast. The older you get, the faster time slips away. When you’re young, when you’re 6, 8, 10, 12, 15 years old, summer days and nights feel endless. Time spent at camp can feel enormous. In reality, it’s seven short weeks.
We pack a lot into our days and our summers at CGL, but no matter how much fun we try to cram into seven weeks, this is always when everything sneaks up on you and reminds us time at camp is limited. It really is a very short amount of time.
You get a few weeks. Maybe you put together a few summers, but even an entire CGL career, from Inters up to being a counselor, even that span can go by in the blink of an eye.
The day after tomorrow, campers will be packing their bags. The end is near, and everyone in camp feels it. They’ve been feeling it for a while now. Ever since Color War broke, the sudden stop of summer has been creeping up on all of us.
So this week is about emptying the tank.
This week is about staying up late. It’s about filling the days—from the moment you wake up to whenever your head finds your pillow at night—with as much fun and memories and silliness as you can pack into it.
The last week of camp is sad. But it is also non-stop. Because we all know at the end of this week, it’ll all be over. Come Friday, camp will be closed for the season and the 10 part of living 10 for 2 will resume again.
We’ll all be plugged back into our devices and spending more time alone, thinking about something we call our “happy place.”
Camp is a happy place for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. But ultimately, camp is a happy place for us because of the opportunities it gives us to discover new friends, do amazing things, and discover exciting things within ourselves.
That should not end when we cross to the other side of the arches.
My hope is that when all of your children return home and inevitably slip back into their homebound routines and habits—even the ones that drive us crazy—that they do it with the confidence, care and compassion that they do things with here at camp.
Camp makes you stronger. It makes you more independent. It teaches you to solve problems. To fix things when they break. It teaches you how to live with other people, how to compromise and how to show compassion. Camp can make you tough, but it can also teach you what heart and determination and good sportsmanship look like.
The world can always use more of that.
So this week when camp goes quiet and the lights are turned off and nobody is left to cheer and laugh and cry at this happy place, my hope is for all these little people to bring a little camp home with them.
And use those superpowers to make whatever place they’re in a happy place, too.