Monday, July 9, 2012

Down Time

The last day of camp was terribly hot.  We took it in manageable bites.  Play a little tennis.  Hang for a while.  Go fishing, then swimming off the dock.  Lie about til our clothes dry.  Fish a little more, play a little more tennis, and suddenly the hiking trail looks cool and shaded and gives us three miles of genuine pleasure in the woods, finding toads and salamanders.

All this down time isn't wasted.  We talk.  Sometimes we even talk seriously.  A forced march or forced row in this heat doesn't send a child home with fond memories unless, as occasionally happens, it is necessary.  Camp is about putting these kids in the position of learning and having fun, not regulating them.  It's about giving kids the pleasure of being, just being, on the coast of Maine.  Kids get enough regulation, and rightly so, in school.  Camp should, within reason, be a place to relax and enjoy the coast of Maine in the company of friends.

Trust youth.  Give them the tools they need to grow and the encouragement to use those tools.  They know instinctively what they need in order to grow at their own rate.  They always make us proud.

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