End of First Session Reflection
Camp Runoia Runoia 2012
By Elana Snow

Time at camp is surprisingly paradoxical: you learn so much in an hour that it seems like a day. Because each day is so jam-packed with boundless activities it, we cram a year’s worth of knowledge into 24-hours. Yet somehow, when it all comes to an end, it feels as if it’s gone by in a split second—lightening-bolt, finger-snap fast. So now it’s time to take a moment, which right now might feel like an hour, but will soon feel as quick as a shot at the riflery range, to reflect back on this summer.

At the beginning of the session we imparted this year’s theme. We asked that no matter who you’re close friends with, we all be allies for one another. Over the course of the last three weeks I have watched as Camp Runoia girls have worked to make this dream theme a reality. I’ve seen girls spotting each other on the ropes course, boosting fellow campers over walls and cheering each other on as they embark on individual climbs. I’ve seen girls give each other riding tips at the barn and cheer each other up when they placed lower than they may have wanted. I’ve seen girls swim across the high seas, over to Oak Island as counselors paddled alongside them, supporting their every stroke. I’ve seen girls brave their fears, stand up in front of a crowd of their peers to share their melodic voices, tickle the ivories or amp up their drama chops as swashbuckling pirates. In response, I’ve seen girls jump into standing ovations, laugh their hearts out and run up to a friend with a congratulatory hug. Reflecting on all of these moments one word comes to mind: unity. Clearly, we have surpassed just being allies to each other, coming together as one group, one supportive unit, a community of caring, nurturing, open, loving women.

Last Sunday we sat at the waterfront, singing songs that have echoed across the shores of Great Pond for over one hundred years. As we were uplifted, so were the wings of a Heron that flew gracefully over to the Marjory and landed near our shore. Though we were clearly in awe of the Heron’s beauty, so too was it in awe of our united voices. For those who don’t know, the Heron’s nickname world-round is “Shypoke.” This is because of its rather elusive and fearful manner. A quick noise or loud sound is apt to scare the Heron away. But last Sunday, rather than flying away in fear of the boisterous humans on shore, the Heron sat by, listening to our voices combine into one beautiful, united, allied form. Though we felt treated to the sight of the Heron, somehow it too seemed to appreciate our gift of song.  So as you depart Runoia tomorrow, please remember the lesson of the Heron: pull yourself towards people who are supportive; connect yourself communally to those who are around you; be a Runoia ally to people even beyond our perimeter. Take a little piece of Runoia back with you and perhaps you’ll continue giving and receiving gifts of wonder, magic and beauty throughout the course of the coming year, until you can make your way back to the shores of Great Pond once again.

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