From The Director’s Desk – May 2017
The Butterflies of Spring
Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach? Not literal butterflies, of course, but that churning, that anticipation. When did it happen? Were you nervous? Excited? Probably a bit of both, right? I find that nervousness and excitement go hand in hand, both anticipation of something to come.
Today is May 5. Exactly one month from today, my team and I will begin our move to camp. Not far behind will be our summer leadership team. A few days after that, our activity specialists. Then, a few days more, our counselors will arrive. And finally, our campers! Less than 50 days from now, camp will be in full swing – children will be splashing in the pool, laughing in the dining hall, creating incredible pieces of art, and honing their skills on the sports fields. Less than 50 days from now? I have butterflies.
Like many, I manage my butterflies – both the excited and anxious ones – by making lists. Here are a few on my list:
• Observing campers shriek in delight, as they greet one another, some who they haven’t seen for 11 months (excited)
• How did they get there? Does everyone know the bus stop details? Did they show up on time? Did we send out luggage tags? (nervous)
• Dancing on the plaza before a meal, throwing around a Frisbee during Z’man Kef (free time), playing Gaga in the Village (excited)
• Did our staff learn how to engage all campers, particularly those reticent to participate? How do we ensure that every camper is included, acknowledging that not every camper loves every activity? (nervous)
• Celebrating our first Shabbat together – the camp, dressed all in white, singing in unison in a way that, well, just “feels like camp.” (excited)
• Do our campers know the songs? Have we provided opportunities for them to learn in advance? (nervous)
When I began my career as a camp professional, someone told me, if you don’t have the butterflies – both the excited and the anxious ones – you’re doing something wrong. Every camper, every staff member, and yes, even every Camp Director, should have plenty of excited and nervous butterflies. The challenge is to catch those butterflies, think about them, make the lists, and reach out to others for assistance.
We’re here to help! Do you have a question about preparations? Is your child nervous about being homesick? Are YOU nervous about sending your child to camp? We’ve got you covered! Whether it’s our New Camper/Yotair Orientation, our fantastic Family Guide, or a chat with us, there are plenty of ways to nurture our excitement and anxiety for camp. I would love to hear from you – please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Little by little, we can start checking off the items on the list…together.
I’ve got my list. What’s on yours?