Perseverance at Camp Runoia by MJ Parry

Wow! It’s hard to believe we are already in our last days of First Session in “Harmony Land”. The days are so full that we often hear a girl say when talking about the day, “Did that really just happen this morning?!?” Our daily schedule continues to be filled with girls trying new things, having fun, and achieving their goals, and of course we have the special “end of session” traditional celebrations that have begun.

As many of you know, we do an assembly each morning that includes songs, short inspirational readings, announcements, and the Word of the Day. Yesterday’s word was “plethora’’ meaning “an abundance or over abundance”. I related it to the abundance of ways girls can enjoy camp AND the overabundance of clothing scattered around cabins that would need to be sorted out and packed before the girls leave on Saturday!

Plethora was a fun word to share, but today’s word was much more representative of this camp session: Perseverance. Girls have exhibited “perseverance” or that persistence or dedication to stay the course even if things become challenging. Some people call this “Grit” but whatever the name we have seen it countless times at camp. Today it is showing up in girls who are demonstrating hard won riding skills in the horse show. If you see a close up of these girls’ faces as they lead their horses through jumps or in a trot along the fence rails, you see such determination. Or the girls who chose to train and complete a long distance swim this morning to Oak Island. It takes grit to keep going even when the legs and arms are become so tired. Every hiking and canoeing trip has come back to camp with stories of girls staying the course on a tough trail or with the wind in their faces while paddling. The ropes course and climbing wall are a constant opportunity to “keep going” even when nervous. The waterfront has countless opportunities for girls to practice persistence – it takes that special dedication to learn how to actually swim, or to keep getting back up on the wind surfer after falling off many times, or to master the intricacies of skippering a J-Y sailboat or the stokes to keep a canoe on a steady course. Persistence in art seems to show up in quieter ways, but for the girl who continues working even after her pot collapses on the wheel or she needs to reweave a part of the basket is showing dedication to her goal. Our show “Oliver” could not happen without persistence. The girls practice their lines over and over again until they are just right.

And of course, there is the less obvious but so important, personal persistence in each girl that shows up in the process of building friendships, overcoming homesickness, taking on leadership, building community, and discovering the person they want to be.

Persistence is a life skill that we feel fortunate to help nurture and it is wonderful to see girls embracing the opportunities at camp to practice and celebrate persistence.

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