Post Visiting Day Reflection

The thing I like best about Visiting Day is that beautiful moment of reunification, when a child and parent see each other and literally leap into each other’s arms. The other supervisors and I sit at that table on Lakeside and our own eyes well with tears at the sight.  It was very nice meeting all of you parents today, even if it was just a quick hello.

People often ask me how I can manage to work such long hours at such a “demanding job.” Although the question is flattering in many ways, the answer is easy to describe.

Here at camp I am surrounded by an inexhaustible stream of energy. And whenever I am feeling frustrated or tired  all I have to do is borrow some of the children’s and suddenly I have more than enough to last the day. So much so- that I can sit and write to you even now, at 12:20 am, after running around all day long. The truth is I am far more tired at home, where my work day is only a third as long, than I am here at camp.

I was so proud of the boys today. Not only for the way they sang during the music show, but for the way everyone was able to transition back to camp. There were a few tears at 4:00pm when the boys started checking back in- but they all handled themselves in such a brave and mature manner. One of the most challenging tasks of growing up is acknowledging your emotions while still doing what you have do. The boys had some practice with that today and they all did very well.

The tears did not last long, however. The kids had a great water gun fight (while their supervisor was far away), and it turned out that the rumors about Olympics breaking out tonight were true. Just a few hours after those tears on Lakeside, everyone was screaming and cheering at the Eddie Cantor Theater. Tomorrow will be one of the most energetic days of all.

I too was a little sad today, but I think for a different reason. The second session Visiting Day marks the beginning of the last days of camp. And even though that was far from any boy’s thoughts, today, for me the end of camp is all too soon. And though I am fortunate enough to work with children all year round, there is no place outside of camp where I experience the same amount of job satisfaction.

The children spoke and sang about brotherhood today and the counselors and I saw many examples of that this evening. The boys were very gentle with each other this evening- they played, talked and checked in with one another. It was clear that even though they each miss their own family they know they have another one here.


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