Getting kids outdoors: Camp is magic

This is why our future is in better hands than you might think, because of kids like these… Here’s a group of young adults sitting down and watching a sunset last night. They weren’t talking, just watching and taking in this truly magnificent sky. They weren’t told to sit down, they just collectively stopped in their tracks, sat down, and said “wow”. These are some outdoor kids. The lake, the sunset, it’s all part of their employment package. They’ve eschewed higher paid summer jobs for this perk you can’t put a price on.

I was asked to conduct a Mental Health staff training at wilderness based camp this week and was privileged to meet these young adults. They will guide teenagers on canoe trips all summer long, thereby unplugging themselves and the hundreds of kids that show up on this secluded island for a wilderness adventure. These young adults may take have grown up with iphones, but have taken more pictures with fish than their own pouty duck faces. They know how to use a compass, pitch a tent, and cook over a fire that they have built themselves. They’ll teach kids how to paddle, how to portage, fishing, and tell them that “yes, you can do this” even when the campers don’t believe they can. They will be silly and ridiculous and encourage others to be crazy and sing. Just sing. Loudly and off key works just fine.

“I wake up on my own at camp, with the sun. If I looked at my phone at home, I would roll over and go back to sleep, like every single time. Here, the sun is brighter and the dark is, like, black. You can’t see a thing unless the moon is shining. I feel better at camp than any place in the world.”

Did you have a camp? A place where you packed your bags and stayed in a old cabin with a group of kids and a counselor that was the coolest grown-up you had ever met? Man, I hope you did.

I’m old and I just went to camp and met some of the coolest counselors ever. Camp is magic. That part never changes whether you are 10 or 4X10. Camp is magic.

Keep sharing moxie.

 

 

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