Writing in Pencil – a medium for change and flexibility

It’s a bit of a joke around the camp office that I always write in pencil. While I certainly do a lot of typing there are still a multitude of camp jobs that require hand writing and notes so a pencil is always nearby. It’s my go to writing implement and while supplemented by some colored pens there is always typically a sharpened pencil to hand.


It’s always exciting at the start of the season when I find a new box of Dixon Ticonderoga’s, ready sharpened with new erasers set to go on my desk in the Lodge. The Camp Runoia fairies know how to keep me happy. The perfect pencil helps me plan and re-plan schedules with great satisfaction. It has to be the right HB# and sharp is preferred. TheWorking away in the Lodge program office erasers often get worn down quickly so are supplemented by a larger one.

Someone once asked me if I write in pencil due to not being able to commit. Moreover it is an ability to be able to be flexible and be able to make change. The schedules at camp are complex with many moving parts and often things need to get switched around quickly. The act or writing and erasing cements the information better in my mind. I can often then recall it without needing to go back and look at it.

This year we are having to use all of our creative resources to adapt and be flexible as we plan our camp summer. Even though we ran a successful camp last summer, the changes in how we understand and navigate the Covid virus means a slightly different approach this year. A month or so ago vaccinations were only trickling out, now most adults have the opportunity to get them and hopefully older children will be next. We have to keep updating and re-working our policies and plans to accommodate new information and shifting protocols. Having the ability to change and erase what we had in place allows us to be the most current and not be frustrated with information coming in that is outside of our control. It’s a great life skills to be able to erase what you have written and adapt it to what you now need.

I’m going to stick with writing in pencil. I love being able to erase and rewrite, to navigate change without feeling stuck and to create new words as needed over the old ones.

Using my pencil to check of the days until it is camp time. We cannot wait to see all of our girls and staff on Great Pond.

Getting ready for tag up the daily schedule is always fun!

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