Loving Our Neighbors

Last night’s Testimony Meeting was a wonderful example of true brotherly and sisterliness as we all sat down to hear our Camp Mom, Jenny, give her readings. The readings were on loving your neighbor, and the topic seemed to wildly appropriate for this session that I know every camper and staff member truly enjoyed what Jenny read for us.

This session has done nothing but show the true love we all have for one another as a CLC family through everything we do throughout the day. Campers are helping one another in the gaga pit and on kapers, sharing food at the table and waiting patiently for the salad bar, walking with one another to and from classes and reminding each other of the things they need for their classes. The days have been harmonious, and though they can be crazy with activities at times, the campers are still together laughing, smiling, and enjoying one another’s company.

I’m always so in awe of the way the older campers embrace the younger ones. This session especially, Norman has truly taken Dunwoody under their wings and are leading them through the day with grace, love, and affection. The Seneca and Norman campers wait for the young Dunwoodians to change after swim classes and time on the waterfront. On the Game Field yesterday I watched as some of them were playing soccer, and one of the Norman campers was going a bit easy on a Dunwoodian and was allowing the Dunwoodian to outrun him. But the Dunwoodian turned and yelled, “I know you can run faster! You can do it!” and then in some weird twist, was “going easy” on the Norman camper to allow him to score a goal. When he scored, they both cheered and the Dunwoodian jumped into his arms yelling, “I knew you could do it!” It was truly a loving brotherly moment that will only grow as the session continues.

This morning a Kiyan was struggling with taking the trash out after kapers on the way to breakfast and a camper from Wahalla was walking out of her cabin at the time. She ran a good ways to pick up the Kiyan’s trash bags from the Kiyan’s hands and then proceeded to help her sort it to put burnable and non-burnable trash where they needed to go. The Wahalla girl then took the Kiyan’s hand and they started walking together while the Wahalla camper asked the Kiyan what they had talked about during Quiet Hour and if she remembered her Thought for the Day. Instances like this just reiterate the need to learn from children about how we should treat one another – with love and compassion.

As a staff this summer, we talk about this during all of our meetings when we give gratitude, but we are all so grateful for one another for constantly stepping in where our job may not require us but aid is still needed. Spending so much time together during Staff Week, we truly became a small family who creating this loving environment for the campers to now come into and grow spiritually as well. Every summer I say that I learn just as much from the campers as I do from my fellow staff, if not more from the campers and their pure sense of devotion to one another.

Due to some upcoming thunderstorms, overnights were moved back to Friday instead of today, so campers have another full day of classes before prepping for overnights this afternoon before our evening activity of Lenape/Canoya night. We have some really cool hikes and canoe trips planned for our campers this session, and we know that with this loving atmosphere, campers are going to just have the absolute most fun. Tonight for Lenape/Canoya night, the boys will be playing their annual game of 8-Sticks and the Rosario is in the midst of planning a rocking pajama party for the girls. It’s going to be a great day! More pictures, and updates to come on all our social media pages! Have a great day everyone!