When we reflect on week four, we realize this week was about the power of community. This particular summer and this particular week, the impact and relevance of camp has come into clearer focus. The truth is that 2020 is a hard summer for our world in so many ways. It has become harder for many to be optimistic about the future. However, our campers and staff make it impossible not to be hopeful. Our community celebrated every moment, supported each other, played, laughed and were joyous.
None of this comes without work. After the tropical storm roared through camp, our entire facility team came forward and said, there was no way camp was not opening on Wednesday. Everyone pitched in because they care deeply about Elmwood and it’s campers. A community is there for each other in a time of need.
On Monday and Wednesday, Elmwood hosted the Adventurer Games for our third through sixth graders. In a word, wow! Every group was a team, and they competed in field games, trivia, a swim meet, an art challenge and silly games. There is no doubt, however, that the cheer off was the best part. Each team spent two days rehearsing for their cheers, and they were epic. We saw community in our teams, our staff, and most importantly, in all of the Adventurers coming together for an amazing two days!
Perhaps the best day of the week was Thursday for carnival. In May and June, we had countless conversations about Carnival. How could we possibly host carnival this year. We could not have large groups of people together, and there could not be rides. Would kids still be able to love carnival? Several determined people said yes and they were right. There were carnival booths, a sprinkler festival, spin and sand art and a carnival show. In the history of our camp, we have never witnessed as much joy as there was on Thursday. Carnival 2020 was about our community having fun and celebrating together.
One other example of community this week was Elmwood’s commitment to growth and change. While we have always been an inclusive place, this week we explored diversity, equity and inclusion with all of our campers. We talked about celebrating differences and working toward a more equitable world. We believe children are the key to the next steps in our world, and we take our responsibility seriously to set the right tone and call them to action. Our community did not disappoint.
As we approach our final week together, we look forward to all that our community can accomplish next week. We have a few surprises left up our sleeves, and we could not be more excited to spend our last week together, outside.