Opening Day Summer Camp 2015

TakodahCampfireOpeningDay

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Use #summercamp2015 to share your Summer Camp 2015 experiences all summer!

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The waiting was excruciating.

I just couldn’t wait any longer.

The butterflies. The anticipation. The neverending tick tock of the clock.

It was the first day of summer camp.  I was eight years old.

I remember pulling up the dirt road only to be told that I had to wait there until it was time to begin checking in each car and to let us know to which cabin I had been assigned. The wait was filled with adrenalin, because I didn’t know anyone and I was naturally anxious to know who my friends would be.

Then the moment happened.

Car engines started up and the slow crackle of tires on gravel signaled the opening sounds of camp. As each car slowly made its way to the camp director carrying the infamous clipboard with cabin assignments, we all eagerly waited to hear which cabin would be our home for the next two weeks.

Then, arriving at the cabin was always filled with an equal combination of enthusiasm and nausea. There’s no other way I can explain it. If it was the first year, it was the excitement and fear of knowing who would be your friends. Would camp be fun? Would I love it our long to go home? The second year and beyond is was the excitement of reuniting with summer friends after a year of waiting to see them again.


WARNING!
This week’s video Summer Camp 2015 kickoff video (on the right side of this page) is a WYSIWG
(what you see is what you get) video. No make-up. Just Betsy. As-is. No glitz. No glam.  In nature. In my happy place. (How summer camp should be!)


We chose our bunks. Top or bottom bunk? Will I fall off? How will I keep my trunk clean in such tight quarters? Will these girls be my friends? What is Siesta exactly? Cabin inspection? Bug juice?  The energy in the cabin was nothing but a huge HIGH of wonder, anticipation, and excitement.

I’m pretty sure, like we do as adults in new situations, we all had the exact same questions and feelings: What will these next two weeks be like? Will I have fun? Will she like me? What’s going to happen?

Funny how these same questions reverberate throughout our adult lives too!After getting settled, taking a tour with our parents of the campgrounds, it was time to say goodbye. For some children, I remember it was really hard for them to say goodbye, but for me, I was ready for my independent adventure and hopefully the chance to see my cool sister (five years older) when I could.

Saying goodbye to the familiar can be uncomfortable, but at summer camp – it’s the good kind of goodbye. (Food for thought: What do you need to say goodbye to (and be okay with it!) so that you can totally get into this Summer Camp adventure?

The First Night & Opening Rituals

The first night of camp was filled with energy and excitement. Our first all camp flag ceremony. Our first meal together. Our Opening Campfire.

Opening campfire signaled the beginning of our summer adventures together. It’s is when the bonds of friendship were ignited and real friendships started to form. It’s where tall tales and storytelling created a family community surrounded by nature and recreation. Filled with songs, skits and plenty of good smelling deet bugspray, we came together as a big family around a giant crackling fire at dusk.

It was magical.

Starting fresh is largely about rituals. As I reflect back, I think that the ritual of Opening Campfire, is something we should do more of in our adult life. How we kick off an adventure has a lot to do with how the adventure will go.

That night set the tone for how our two-week adventure would go.

I feel the same way about this Betsy Harvey Inc. 2015 Summer Camp.  Everything to come this summer is YOUR experience.

It will be what YOU make of it and how willing you are to push yourself to your edge.

This is the summer you can say an enthusiastic “YES!!” to getting closer to the true you, and toward identifying and staying on track toward living out your divine calling.

So, as we become a camp community together for the next few months, I encourage you to become the child you were or wish you had been. Put on your courage, sense of adventure, and enthusiasm for the new and unknown.

Our Opening Campfire begins right now.

  1. Feel the ANTICIPATION/ADRENALIN.
  2. Identify and connect with your COMMUNITY.
  3. Create a daily RITUAL.

DIY Opening Campfire Rituals

Try on one of these easy Opening Campfire rituals and let your #summercamp2015 summer adventure begin:

  • Do an inventory of who is in your life and write it in your journal. Be grateful. Be honest. Do you have the friends in your life that make sure you’re having fun, that fill up your cup, and let you be all of who you are? Do they stretch you to your edge? Letting you just be you? (This can be a great professional exercise too to ensure that you’re surrounding yourself with strong, positive and encouraging colleagues).
  • Take a walk in nature. Go on a hike you’ve never taken (don’t go alone unless you know the area to be 100% safe and tell someone before you go and check-in after). Or – go with someone who shares your sense of adventure and knows how to be silent with you, if silence is what you need. If permitted, build a campfire along the way or at dusk and create your own ritual for kicking of the best summer of your life.
  • Build your own backyard campfire. Head to your own or a friend’s back yard. Fire up the fire pit and make some ooey gooey yummy s’mores. There’s nothing like a s’more to take you back to childhood. Create a skit with the Big kids (and little ones) in your life – your own, someone else’s or kids you may take care of. Act it out for an audience!
  • Get out your guitar (or invite someone to play theirs) and sing camp songs that are so ridiculously silly. Here are few of my old favorites:  Alice, Black Socks, An Austrian Went Yodeling, and Father Abraham (all available on Ultimate Camp Resource).
  • Light a candle and designing your own “campfire” ritual (highly recommend Yo Soy Candle).


Use #summercamp2015 and post your rituals on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  I can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

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