Plaques

August 13, 2014

You guys, I cannot even believe how quickly this session has gone. One minute the bus was pulling into camp, spilling bright-eyed campers into the sunlight, and now all of a sudden we have our plaques already.

I love plaques, even though plaques kind of signal the coming end of the session. Do you know about plaques? I’ll clue you in. Each session, each cabin or tent group gets a little flat square of wood, all plain and innocent, and it’s our job to fill it in with inside jokes from the session, or little tidbits about who we are as a group. The funny thing is, though, that the way each tent or cabin goes about painting their plaque says as much about them as what they put on it.

I’m a tents counselor, meaning I have the oldest girls. They love camp, not particularly because they love their activities or anything, but because they’ve built up these amazing relationships with each other over the years, and all they want to do is spend time with one another. So their strategy for painting their plaque is to ignore it: if we don’t paint it, the session won’t end, and we can keep hanging out forever. The younger campers get into it differently. For them, the plaque doesn’t represent the end of the session, but rather their own belonging here. When that plaque is hung in the dining hall rafters, they will become part of the legacy of Camp Tall Timbers. So the little ones tend to get super psyched about their plaques, and spend hours on it days before the end of the session.

But I mean, it’s not over yet, not by a long shot. Tonight and tomorrow night, juniors and seniors will split, alternating between going bowling and having a campfire. The seniors decided they wanted a pre-campfire pool party, so that’s a thing, plus also bowling is the funnest thing when you do it with your camp friends. Also still to come is Granny’s Candy, which is on everybody’s list of Top Five Things that Happen at Camp Tall Timbers, and zip lining, and so many more silly moments, jokes with counselors, hangouts with friends, good meals, deep sleeps and all the other things that make days at camp so much fun.

When my girls finally get around to working on their plaque (which, let’s be real, will probably be late Friday afternoon), they’ll have two more days’ worth of inside jokes than they do now. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

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