Bright mornings and calming sunsets. Whistle-filled ball fields and peaceful starry nights. Look around Camp Kawaga and you’ll find energy bursting at the seams. And so much more. Our first days of camp have been nothing short of ideal. Perfect weather, nearly boundless activity, and a real appreciation for what we are so fortunate to share.
Our first-year campers are melding right into the fold as if they were part of Kawaga their whole lives… and returning campers are jumping right in where they left off. Lauren and I haven’t stopped smiling (well it’s also been a personally eventful first week)!
Being here, Being Kawaga, is nothing short of inspiring. Each day reminds me of the inclusive spirit at camp. And, that’s what has most moved me during this our first days back on the Shores. It’s the little moments — and the stories about these moments — that I want to share with you from time to time.
I know I’m beyond lucky to have a front-row seat to so many of these special moments with our campers and staff. To me, despite our amazing 100-plus years of rich heritage, it’s these everyday moments that define who we are. I want to share one with you from a few days ago that inspired me.
An 11-year-old first-year camper, who was missing home a bit, mustered the courage to go down to the docks and join a group of kids for a tubing ride. He didn’t know anyone in the group; it was his first interaction with these boys. He was immediately welcomed with a warm, enthusiastic introduction by not one boy, but by the entire group:
“What’s your name? Is it your first year at camp? I’m Charlie, I’m Adam, I’m Johnathan. We’re in the cabin right next door. If you need anything, come to our cabin!”
Our new camper and his next-door neighbors have now spent two days together and are enjoying a budding friendship. So, the boy who was missing home has new friends and a growing enthusiasm for what lies ahead this summer. All from that one moment. (And, by the way, he’s no longer missing home.)
I thought to myself, would those boys behave like this at home when meeting a new kid in their class or neighborhood? Maybe. But at Kawaga, there’s simply no question. So, this one moment wasn’t at all surprising to witness. And because it’s so reflective of who we are as a community, it makes me — and all of our staff here — proud. It’s what we aim for every day.
Returning campers welcome new campers; older campers look out for younger campers.
“Big Brothers” care for their assigned “Little Brothers,” taking pride in their achievements and enthusiastically welcoming them to all that’s Kawaga. The idea of “one for all” is a part of our camp culture. Of course, our boys aren’t perfect and are more a “work in progress.” But to see breakthroughs everyday, like this one I’ve shared with you, keeps me inspired and fuels the soul. Thanks guys, keep it up!