Resolutions to Make 2017 More Like Camp All Year Round – Guest Blog by Carrie Murphey
It’s a simple fact that camp is the very best time of year. It’s basically magic. Except for how it doesn’t last ALL year. That part is not magic. So how do we resolve to make this year more like camp every day?
- Be active
You know how Camp Sleep is the very best sleep? Sure, part of it is because you’re all snuggled up in your warm bed, listening to the peaceful sounds of nature, and the Maine chill in the air keeps you cozy all night long. But also you know why you sleep so well at camp? You are SO dang tired at the end of every day! Because you did a million things! You were an archer, and a swimmer, and a basket-weaver, and a wall-climber, and you ran from Junior End to the lodge to be first for tag-up, and you zoomed all over the kickball field during Evening Program, and then you had a spontaneous dance-off in your shack while you brushed your teeth, and then goodnights and lights out and BAM. Out like a log.
Do you move your body half as much in the rest of the year as you do during camp? No, me neither. I could do more and I bet you could too!
- Sing lots
From the lodge in the morning to the lake in the afternoon to belting out to the radio during shower time to campfire on Sundays to Taps at night, we are always singing at camp. We don’t always sound greeeeeeeeeat, but we’re usually going at it with gusto.
So turn your music up, or grab your camp songbook, and just SING.
- Try new things
Days at camp are filled with new activities and new friendships to make. It seems there’s never enough time to try ALL the things and meet ALL the people. Caught up in the contagious joy of camp, you’re also more inclined to be understanding of all the difference around you and excited by every new experience you have and each new person you encounter.
During the year, you have more time, but if you’re anything like me, probably less enthusiasm for trying new things. You stick with your routine, with your established set of friends, and you may even eat the very same thing for breakfast every day. Try to make your year a little more like camp by stepping outside your comfort zone in small ways. Talk to a new person in your class. Learn more about a different club at your school. Read a book in a genre you’ve never tried. Take a try-it size portion of a food you’re almost positive you don’t like just in case. Not everything will stick like your old stand-bys, but like camp, you just might discover new interests and cool people.
- Invest in your friendships
There is an immediacy to making friends at camp. You only have so much time together and you want to make every moment count. You share stories at lightening speed and can’t remember a time when you didn’t know each other. You spend your days doing lots of the same things together and then talking late into the evening about the memories you’ve already made with one another. In a very short amount of time, you crystalize these close friendships and feel bonded for life.
You certainly have close friends outside of camp. But how often are you spending time just sharing stories and talking about each other’s days? Some of those new things you’re trying out, maybe your friends want to try with you. Chances are, they’d like to have a little more camp in their lives too.
That first day of camp, when you’re separated from your phone or your computer, oof, it hits like a ton of bricks. Your hand twitches to refresh your SnapChat or take a mindless BuzzFeed quiz. But within hours (if not minutes) of being swept into that sweet unplugged camp life, I doubt you miss either one very much. And because you’re talking to real people in real time, face-to-face, you’re able to make lasting connections and have incredible experiences by hearing with your full ears and seeing with your whole eyes. There is nothing to divide your attention and so you can invest your attention in anything and everything you do.
It’s not always completely realistic to give up a phone or a computer the rest of the year (I, for one, would be fired from my job), but I promise you, the more time we spend away from either, the more we can pay attention to – friends, family, activities – with our undivided selves.
So, let us all resolve to live 2017 a little more like camp. Remembering to bring a few dashes of that magic to our everyday is bound to make the time between camp seasons pass that much more mercifully quick… right?