On Any Given Summer Day

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It’s hard to believe how quickly the last few weeks have flown by; already, we’re staring down the final days of the session, complete with all the final-week traditions that help the campers prepare for their return to home life.

We’ve been lucky to enjoy an incredible couple of days here at BT, with a number of fun-filled projects, an amazing evening program last night called “Nerd Wars,” and a whole heap of summer sunshine! On any given day here, you just never know what sort of fun is in store!

I saw a wonderful example of true BT spirit at work today when I sat down with six BLT campers upon return from a truly memorable and unique Boundary Waters trip. We make sure to take time to debrief each group as they come back into camp after a trip, not only to get feedback on the conditions of the destinations and performance of our trippers (beneficial for us), to work through any conflicts that may have cropped up during the trip (beneficial for the kids), but also to hear how much fun they had (beneficial for everyone). In this debrief session, the BLT’ers explained to me just how special their trip was from the very onset. See, these six girls started out as Maples together, for years dreaming about “Tam Trips” like canoeing through Boundary Waters. Though they may have drifted toward different friendship groups over the years, this summer, they are finally old enough to take the Boundary Waters trip together as one unit, making good on the pact they made as Maples all those years ago.

During this remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime trip, the campers loved reconnecting with one another, bonding as a group, and soaking up the incredible scenery of the Boundary Waters National Canoe Area. Even though they knew that when they returned to camp and would once again immerse themselves back into the big cabin with their more established groups of friends, they would always hold tightly to their memories of the Boundary Waters experience, and the bonds created during their time together there.

In fact, as the girls were telling me about everything they’d accomplished and shared on the adventure, they explained how, on the final day of their journey when they had finished paddling for the day they truly didn’t want the experience to end. So, the whole group decided to put the canoes back in the water and spend 20 minutes just floating in the boats, enjoying the silence and appreciating the beautiful scenery, wildlife and—of course—the blissful pleasure of one another’s company.

As the campers relayed this beautiful story to me, taking turns filling in the details, smiling and laughing together, I knew it was one I had to share on the blog; this is the stuff by which lasting friendships sustain themselves over the course of lifetimes; this is what camp is really about. Knowing that our campers are able to come to the realization, for themselves, that the true beauty of a wilderness trip often lies in making new friends and appreciating nature brings peace and happiness to my heart as the session draws to a close.

It might be hard work sometimes, this business of raising kids, but it’s a whole lot easier when we work together as a community. And I think we can all agree that it sure is the best—the very best—work we’ll every attempt in our entire lives. Thank you all for letting me share in the job. As always, it’s my greatest honor.

One thought on “On Any Given Summer Day”

  1. So heart warming! Brooke wrote me a note about her trip. She told me how beautiful it was, and about the SERIOUSLY big lake and the cliff that looked over and that it was even more beautiful than Wyoming and….

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