This week, Rich and Stef gave out the last round of Torch Awards — X for excellence. I’m not able to put into words what excellence is at camp or what it is to be an excellent camper. It’s something you can see and feel in these kids that is a combination of spirit, enthusiasm, support, drive and compassion — it’s all the skills and attributes that camp instills, under the surface.
As parents, we’re always looking for the fun. We’re scouring the pictures for our child’s smile and looking to see what activities our kids are enjoying. We’re looking for variety and creativity, but we rarely stop to contemplate what we don’t see: that this camp provides so much more than recreation and amusement.
Our kids are learning more than how to hit a ball or score a goal. Lenox is constantly reinforcing skills and principles that are a bit less tangible, yet immensely more important. Our kids are gaining the ability to think independently, yet work as a team. They’re acquiring the confidence to walk into what could be an uncomfortable setting and socialize with ease. They’re honing the skills they need to cope with the day to day stresses and problem solve without relying on a parent. They’re finding a level of autonomy they couldn’t have in a different setting. Most incredibly, our kids are learning to be compassionate friends who can be trusted and relied upon, while realizing that others will do the same for them.
There is a bond that is formed in camp that makes it unlike any other place. It’s a love for the people here — combined with an enthusiasm for what camp represents and a great respect for what it teaches.
In this supportive environment our kids have spent the summer learning how to be excellent campers … and excellent people.