June 9, 2006

Camp is OVER!

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:17 pm by mrsmauck

My first supervisory experience with teens since I decided I wanted to spend seven hours a day, five days a week with the little darlings was two things that can only be expressed in allcaps: EXHILIRATING and EXHAUSTING! Summer College Camp 2006 seemed like a constantly successful disaster. The kids wandered around campus, made friends, sang songs, played volleyball and basketball, and [I hope] learned a little about college and themselves in the process. Here’s the perfect anecdote to describe this week:

During the closing awards assembly, after each kid had won a door prize, and some had won grand prizes for best ACT scores and best scholarship applications, our emcee lady asked if any camper would like to make a few parting shots. Of course, the most popular camper, who is simultaneously adorable and obnoxious, had to get on stage and go on a bit about how much fun he’d had, his volleyball team the Big Macs, and the hot counselors. In typical fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants fashion, our director told the boy to go ahead and sing his closing song. This showboat boy had led various groups of boys in song throughout the week: singing Happy Birthday to women whose birthday may or may not have occurred in the last six months, singing karaoke song after karaoke song the first night at our mixer, and singing You Are My Sunshine about every day solo or with a barbershop quartet he assembled. So he and two other young men who’d never met before this week, but who all have an equal love of the spotlight and of singing, hopped on stage for an encore of You Are My Sunshine. I turned on the recorder of the digital camera I’d been toting all week. After the little-known second verse of this golden oldie, the head showboat started clapping along with the beat, and the auditorium joined in. I whizzed the camera around behind me at our campers’ smiling faces, only to realize the voices had moved in a little closer to me. I whirled around to see the boys on their knees in front of me for one last serenade.

This week wasn’t about me though. It was about pouring myself into the campers to help them believe in themselves and their futures. This last bit of appreciation and attention was the last thing I needed to understand that I love these kids, from the showboats to the shy ones, from the smartypants to the slow ones. I’ll try to get this video clip on my blog in the next couple days, as I reflect on the golden moments in the dawning of my understanding that I am meant to give myself to these kids, that I feel the best about myself and about the world when I’m doing just that.


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