Recently, I was visiting with a mom and her daughter who are thinking about Runoia for next summer. It was a great conversation with lots of questions, and afterward I replayed some of it in my mind. Something that stuck in my thoughts was one of the words I used to describe Runoia. That word was simple. So, while I have a picture of what that means to me, I realize that “simple” could be heard in many different ways. Our buildings are lovely but are also simple. We dress simply. We aren’t caught up in technology or the latest movie or music. Our days are full but not frantically busy. We’re more in tune to the rhythms of nature. These are all parts of camp being simple in a good way.
Another piece of the simplicity is wrapped up in simple pleasures. These are moments and experiences that are so much more present to us at camp then in the rest of our lives.
Some of these simple pleasures that come to mind are…
…Sunshine sparkling like diamonds on the lake… walking barefoot in the cool, green grass… lemonade… the sounds of raindrops pattering on the roof… the call of the loons… a perfect s’more… singing together… hearing counselors read stories to their campers… the smell of wood smoke… saying goodnight to the girls… a cool breeze from Great Pond… sitting in the shade under a tall tree… joyful laughter… the “thwack” of an arrow hitting the target… sitting cozily by the fire on a cold, wet day… horses grazing in the pasture… a ringing bell helping us keep track of time… morning and afternoon snacks… seeing new friends chatting happily… drifting off to sleep to the night sounds of the forest… playing school-yard games… milk and crackers before bed… picking blueberries… the smell of sawdust in the woodshop… random topics being discussed around the dining hall table… emerald green moss-covered rocks along the shoreline… the tangy scent of balsam on a foggy morning… the hush that falls over camp at rest hour… seeing everyone in uniform on Sundays… the lake turning purple, pink and orange as the sun sets… feeling contentedly tired at the end of a full day… hearing girls say, “I tried something new today”.
There are so many more but I think you get the picture. While each of us will have different simple pleasures on our lists, the pleasures all have something in common. To make the most of such moments takes our time and attention. And Camp Runoia gives you the time and space that is hard to come by the rest of the year, to do just that. Appreciating simple pleasures is a gift for the mind, heart and soul.