It certainly is a good time to thinking about gratitude. Two days before Thanksgiving, we are now planning our trip to the grandparent’s house, making our list of yearly ‘thankfuls’, and looking forward to spending some extra time with those most important to us. Thankfully, even the media gets into the action as well.
I just finished a great article on gratitude which you can find here. Kate and I always felt feelings of gratitude lead to a happier, more productive life. It’s nice to see science catching up with us!
Gratitude is so important that I end each day with our boys at camp asking them about their two favorite things from that day. Our Head Counselor or Kate does the same on the girl’s side. We center our first campfire around gratitude. (Here is a great poem I’ve found for the occasion.) We also have a longstanding tradition of our sport teams thanking their coaches, refs, and drivers in front of the whole camp, win, lose, or draw.
Researchers believe feelings of gratitude are 50% genetic. The remainder is learned. We focus on teaching our campers to be thankful for their many blessings (and make it fun in the process!)
At this thankful time of year, I challenge each of you to make a list of people and experiences for which you are grateful. Happiness is colored most effectively and durably from these two categories. Further, I challenge you to start your own gratefulness habit: Each evening, before you fall asleep, find two things you are happy about from the day. Write them down or say them out loud. It’s a great way to end the day.
As for Weequahic, we are thankful for:
- The vision of our founder, Art Lustig, in creating the traditions of Weequahic
- The work of the Lustig and Seffer families for shepherding and adding to these traditions along the path
- The incredible staff with whom we have the pleasure of working during the summer and throughout the year
- Our supportive and thoughtful families who share their children with our community each summer, and
- Campers from around the country and world who bring energy, excitement, friendship, and joy to us each and every day
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
Cole Kelly, Camp Director