Today Was Hippie Day, Man

July 5, 2008

Hippie Day started out like any other Saturday. In case you don’t know what that means, Saturdays start with a luxurious late wake-up and cinnamon buns in the dining hall. But at 11, Camp TT became a 60’s paradise. With Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Beatles coming over the loudspeakers and across the field, everyone got changed into their hippie gear and started off to activities.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a situation where everyone – everyone as far as the eye could see – was suddenly dressing and acting like they were in a different era, but it is a cool, absorbing experience. I walked out onto my deck and saw everyone scattered around (there was a dance party across the grass) and suddenly felt like I was really somewhere else. Somewhere really mellow.

The kids were allowed to choose which activities they wanted to try, and they could go to several in a row. Turtle races were at the top of the hill, accompanied by a smattering of protesters. Down in the woods, kids learned how to hug a tree from Dean. There was also sack racing, paper airplane making, music philosophy, and story telling, followed by optional communal bathing (aka free swim) down at the pool. At rest hour, campers had the choice to either rest in their cabins or go up to the rec hall deck to lie on their backs and look at clouds. In the afternoon there was a water war and accompanying protest, instrument making, a drum circle, bird watching, debates, knitting, yoga, and a massage train. Former campers Lily Meier and Kelly Watts came back for the day to lead a tie dye workshop. There was also suds wrestling down near the baseball diamond.

Jessica Hymer came to knitting and picked it up like wildfire. In swimming, James Winston and Jordyn Chace (otherwise known as Jace) learned how to dive for the first time. In yoga, about twenty of us did some wild balance poses and meditated with incense – and everyone laughed when we said ‘ommmmmmm’. This evening, counselor Adam Gershowitz and I discussed how ‘real’ the whole day felt. He said he was sorry he’d missed the sixties and I felt pretty sorry too. I have yet to take off my rainbow headband, even though the day’s winding down, dusk is falling, and all the kids are up to mellow non-hippie stuff until the social, Timberstock, starts up at the tennis courts.

I talked with head women’s counselor, Lynn, at dinner. She has worked at other camps, and since I’ve never worked anywhere but Camp TT, I asked her what was different. She said that our camp has so much heart, and that the counselors are so mature and focused on the kids. When I was a counselor, we felt really proud of our camp, and loyal. So of course I felt proud about what she said, and also, as always, really proud of our counselors, who are pretty incredible.

Have been sitting on my hammock writing this, and counselor Jason Gershowitz just came over to remind me to tell you that the Wilderness Survival group is heading into the ‘nothingness’ tomorrow to navigate by the stars, build a fire without matches, and purify water they’ve been collecting in their own handmade still. So there you have it.

More tomorrow.

J

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