Summer Storms and Sunny Mornings

Greetings from camp! We’ve had quite a bit of excitement over the last few days, but I suppose it’s impossible for things to ever be boring at Birch Trail! Some of you may have been following the weather in Northwestern Wisconsin, and might be wondering how much of those summer storms made their way to camp. Though we did have some mighty strong rain and winds, I’m pleased to say that everyone is doing great.

As weather has a way of doing round these parts, our usual routine yesterday was put on hold while the storms passed. Instead of attending activities, the campers spent the day either in their cabins or with their villages in one of our designated bad-weather-buildings like the lodge. Trees did fall on a few cabins, but luckily, none of those cabins are being used this summer, and no one was hurt during the storms.

While the campers huddled together throughout the day, I was so impressed to see how well they were able to take the situation in stride. What’s more, the campers actually used the change of pace to really come together and bond in new ways. Though I’ve been thrilled to see the friendships the campers have created all session, nothing could have prepared me for the acts of kindness, friendship, and spontaneity that I saw yesterday as I toured the cabins to make sure everyone was doing well during the storms. Campers were playing stationary blackjack, sharing stories from home, and some campers even started an impromptu dance party! I’ve always known that BT girls are troopers—but this was extraordinary! It almost didn’t matter what the weather was doing outside—as long as the campers had their counselors and each other, they were completely content and happy.

By the time morning arrived today, the clouds had parted, the rain and wind had dissipated, and the sun came out to dry everything up. Our caretaker, Russ, and many of our specialty staff members did have a lot of work to do in order to get camp all cleaned up. But after hauling away the downed trees and limbs and inspecting any damages, camp looks as good as new.

Projects resumed their normal schedule today and on the surface, it might seem like the storm never happened. But there is a special closeness among the camp community, a brightness in the face of each and every camper since yesterday. Traditionally, communities have been known to come together in light of events like major storms, so it shouldn’t be any surprise to me that the camp community is no different. But to see a group of kids gather their collective strength and positive attitudes when they very easily could have complained or gotten bored, reminds me just what a special place camp truly is.

With only a few more days left in the session, I have to say that I feel strangely grateful for the wild weather we experienced yesterday; what could have been disastrous turned into a beautiful blessing of friendship and togetherness. I can’t think of a better lesson for the kids than this: to learn that even when the skies grow dark and plans are interrupted, good things and sunny days are usually right around the corner—as long as you know what to look for.

2 thoughts on “Summer Storms and Sunny Mornings”

  1. Thank you for the lovely updates and insights. It has been great to share in your collective experience with our kids and also be reminded why I chose to send my daughter to Birch Trail. My memories and images of 30+ years ago are revived. What fun!

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