Be Prepared

Speaking with a number of our new camp families through a Facebook Live event the other day has me thinking about being prepared. A wonderful coincidence, then, that one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books comes back to the movie theaters today:

“Be prepared to appreciate what you meet.”

Fremen proverb, Dune

Everything – literally everything – can be instructive, can be helpful. For example, a few weeks ago, I slipped while stepping onto a small bridge. My right shin caught the brunt of the impact, sliding along the rough edge of the wooden bridge.

Now, why the heck should I appreciate that moment? Because it will remind me – for a long time – to take better stock of my surroundings. The bridge was in perpetual shade. It had been a damp morning. I was not wearing good shoes for wood which would obviously be slippery. And, I was in a rush… for no good reason.

So, I appreciate the lesson. (I didn’t at the moment – it hurt like crazy!) I simply wasn’t prepared to appreciate it at the time. Which made the accident hurt more than it should have.

Prepared the First… and Second Time

So many of our first time campers go through very natural missing-home-feelings during their first summer with us. These campers – and their families – are prepared for their feelings and appreciate them for what they are: a reminder that they are doing something new (and awesome) away from something they know, trust and love.

The real surprise comes when our campers meet those same feelings of missing home in their second summer.

“What a second – I thought I LOVED camp?” these kiddos think. Because many of second-summer campers aren’t prepared to meet (the still very natural) missing-home-feelings, the experience throws them for a loop and makes them question their desire to be at camp… even though they don’t want to leave on the last day!

Appreciate All of It

Campers, you need to prepare yourself to appreciate all that you encounter at camp: a TON of fun experiences, a bunk full of new friends from all over, fantastic mentors, coaches and teachers… and the feelings of missing home and a gaga knuckle or two and a bunk full of new friends. The great food and the every now and then ‘meh’ food. The sunshine and the rain. The wins and the learning moments.

Be prepare to appreciate what you meet. Come to camp with that plan in place and you’ll have a blast. See you soon!

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