Minutes and Moments at Camp Runoia

Today is a landmark day at camp. Harmony Land Camp – mini session for our 7 & 8 year olds ended. We all wished them a fond farewell and “See ya next year”. We are 10 days into our summer season and girls have fully arrived at camp. They know their routines and have made connections. There is laughter and song that floats around. We are sharing minutes together and lots of moments, too.

I’m in the Runoia Lodge. It’s free time in camp. Someone is playing the theme song to Dr. Zhivago on the piano. A few girls are discovering blueberries in the bushes. Others are playing gaga-ball together. I see a stream of campers walking up together from the beach from optional recreational “rec” swim. I can hear the bounce of the basketball as campers take shots on the court outside the Lodge.

Part of camp are the activities and part is the community, the connection to a place bigger than yourself. This week, trips went out to the Maine coast, to Saddleback and Umbagog Lake, one camper has passed her American Archer level – the highest rank. Pots are being thrown, baskets made, horses ridden – and some girls went to a horseshow. Swimming lessons are helping girls build skills… YES!

Lots is happening here at camp and yet the essence could be summed up in free time and goodnights. Here are some notes from directors this week as they took a moment to take in the end of the day:

Opening night: “Goodnights” went well tonight. Everyone was happily tucked in their beds.

Day two: All was well in harmony land! 6th and 7th were bouncing off walls it was all good and they settled down. Senior Village was respectfully in bed. Yay!

Day 3: Junior End was good. No tears. Special shout out to their counselor who was leading circle up in 3rd shack. She was asking campers about their favorite words and why. They had wonderful words (unique, different, unicorn, imagination, etc.) and their thoughtfulness was sweet. 6th shack was deep in conversation about respect. Counselors did a good job of facilitating the conversation and getting all voices heard. Relationships are building there – between all. Another counselor arrived just as lights were going to go out. She was greeted with much love from these girls. Sweetness.

Day 4: 7th shack was once again loud on my way down to Sr. end. I went to them first to ask them to bring the volume down. They did, but then it went up again, but settled finally. Ocho was smooth and quiet and content. SV was still all circled up and a bit rowdy tonight:) All went to their beds, lights off, good nights, but I could hear giggles and more talking as I headed up the path.

Day 6: Someone in one shack having hard time settling as she misplaced flashlight. We found a solution and all seemed well. Tears have diminished around camp as campers are settlin

g into a nice camp routine.

Day 8: Lots of tired girls last night 🙂 everyone seemed great.

7th shack were having a circle to address some issues.  One new girl gave another a big hug before bed which was super cute. SV had some bonding time watching the sunset at the waterfront and were in bed when I left. The moon was lovely 🙂

Day 9: From cabins 5, 6 and 7: Wonderful sharing in Shack 5 from their trip adventures. Anna was sooooo excited for her 13th birthday tomorrow and friends in shack were busy working on poster after lights went out.  6 was just happy and a bit silly. 7 had one party corner, but mostly all settled in.  Ocho was quiet, quiet, quiet with many girls already asleep. SV was good. Energetic, chatty and happy, but good. Rae and Emma also in good spirits. In one of the shacks they have devised a memo transport service that is quite amusing.  Played “taps” for them and they all cheered – made my heart smile and wonderful way to finish off good nights.

As we journey on into the summer, we look forward to the traditions and the moments. As our friend Niambi says, “Minutes disappear after they happen; Moments last a lifetime.”




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