spectating participant

July 11, 2005

return from camp

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 1:15 pm

Alex and I made it home, a bit dirty, a lot tired, and greatly enriched for the experience. I now understand the magic and necessity of camp in a child’s life. For 2 weeks, the children had complete space to simply ‘be’. Games and silliness and childish enjoyment were the name of the game all day long. Even as they gathered for daily chores of kitchen cleanup, dishes, or bath house clean up, it was done with laughter and singing and such high energy that maintained that magical status. I was amazed at what I saw and at what camp means. Children need this and I know that Alex will go back again and again so that she can feel like she has complete ownership of space and time for at least 2 weeks a year.

The cooking was a lot harder than I expected it to be. There we 5 cooks and we cooked for about 130 people, campers and counselors. Breakfast and lunch was split into shifts of just 3 cooks, but dinner took all 5 of us to get it made. I worked and worked and worked last week. I’d find that I has been standing from 6am to 10pm when I’d finally head to my tent for some rest. When I wasn’t making a meal, I was doing some extra baking: making about 35 dozen cookies or 14 loaves of bread. The only draw back was that there was no space for the adults to escape the children (the counselors fall into the category and they too enjoy the magic of camp, except a summer long period of it). Next year I will be more prepared.

So, I’m home and finally feel rested. I’ve had so many moments of insight and inspiration for writing, but no real chance to sit and get it out of my head that they have fallen away. The week in the woods atop the “mountain” was wonderful and pulled so much out of me, but I have only the pebbled memories of imagination left to consider instead of actual words to lay out. So many times inspiration comes when I’m not where near anything to write, or not near my computer to type since writing by hand is physically uncomfortable, and I think I need a voice recorder to try and capture some of those moments.