Summer camp has a funny way of pushing all of us outside our comfort zone in the kindest, safest way. Yesterday I got a chance to see in person just how supportive campers can be when their peers, and even their counselors, try something new.
When I got my schedule, I was concerned to see that I had been given a period of softball. I had never played softball in my life, and had only the faintest memories of hitting a baseball or two in middle school gym class. I was certainly not qualified to teach others. “Relax,” said my co-counselor. “I’m sure you’ll do just fine.” In that moment, I was reminded how our campers go out on a limb every day, try something new and discover to their surprise that they’re capable of so much more than they could have dreamed. If they could do it, so could I.
At the beginning of the period, I stood back shyly as the softball instructor led the class, flexing my lefty glove and watching Ella, Emily and Michelle hurl fastballs at one another with grins on their faces. Finally I worked up the courage to join them, and they welcomed me into their warm-up. I even caught a few in my mitt! As we moved from warm-ups into scenarios and various drills, I noticed that the CIT 2 boys in the class were kindly allowing me the time to run after balls I missed. They would diss one another in good humor, but they knew what it was like to be new at something, and they let me fumble in peace.
By the end of the period, I was sweaty and dirty, and even though I wasn’t nearly as good as the campers, I felt like I was a part of the class, and the team, and the sport. That night I lay in my bunk, listening to the quiet sounds of my campers shifting around preparing for sleep, and I knew that so many of them were thinking back on new things they’d done that day. No wonder everybody sleeps so well at camp: when you play hard, you gotta sleep hard too.
Other Camp Tall Timbers Happenings
– Ethan tried gymnastics for the first time, and did a great job
– Adriana went tubing and fell in the lake
– Shayna was the first person this year to climb the harder belay side of the rock wall
– Emily won the treading-water contest
– In tennis, Isaiah won the title of King of the Court
– Flag football will begin today
– In a Camp Tall Timbers first, we will soon be hosting all-day clinics for campers to focus on one skill intensively. There will be soccer, martial arts, horses and swimming, and CTT alum and published YA author Cristin Terrill will lead a writing workshop!