Oh, this will be hard. There were so many funny, awesome, not funny, spiritual, loving things that happened last week. I’ll give it my best shot.
TOP TEN: THE BEST OF CAMP KAPPE
1. Just after showers one evening, one of the boys exited the bathroom after “showering,” looked down and exclaimed, “OH, there’s my soap!” I’m pretty sure NONE of the boys used much of this. Gross, gross. Boys.
2. The kids sat at an assigned table for the entire week. One of our boys’ tables just couldn’t seem to fully grasp the concept of “clean.” Note: my son was at this table. Every meal, they had a stack of dishes to reclean. It’s too darn bad I can’t post the video of the system they finally created. It was a total hoot. Every student had a specific job and if at the rinse bucket, the plate didn’t pass inspection they hollered out, “eh, eh eh”. I’ve never seen kids have so much fun washing dishes.
3. At breakfast one morning, Sr. Thomas Ann (the camp director), put her arm around one of the students, looked at all of us and said, “Every day we bump into people. How do you treat them? Do you treat them with love, kindness, anger, frustration? Today, Jesus is appearing in Adriana’s body. When you bump into Adriana today, how will you treat her? How will you treat all those you meet today?” Sometimes it’s just how somebody says something and it sticks. I’ve never looked at people the same since that morning.
4. After a lively archery class (very cool, by the way), the kids were stoked. They had so much energy and they were all chattering about their bullseyes and “almost” bullseyes. Then, we meditated. Y’all, if you have ever wondered what pain looks like, think about asking boys and girls to pair up and talk to one another for ten whole minutes. It was on the face of every student. The adults, however, got a kick out of watching that pain. You know, because in no time at all, our kids will be begging to talk to the opposite sex.
5. During the PK activity (punish the kids) in our energy class, the kids got to try out potential and kinetic energy…with a slingshot and water balloons. Oh so fun. It was even more fun to watch a fellow chaperone get an early shower from a well-placed balloon. Jason got the last laugh, he saw me step into a pile of fire ants. I almost stripped my pants off right there! Note to self. Watch where you step.
6. The kids just couldn’t help themselves and we had to remind them more than once to slow down and walk. One very astute boy pointed out to me, “Mrs. Whitaker, THIS is the sidewalk, but THAT (pointing to the grass on either side) is the side run.” True that.
7. Every evening, just before lights out, one of our teachers stood in the catwalk between the four girls’ cabins and read a book. On Thursday evening, everyone was completely zonked, so I dashed off to the bathroom to get ready for bed. When I arrived back in the cabin, my girls were super quiet, but I knew some were still awake. I asked if any of them wanted to pray night prayer with me. So we did. Every religious (priest, sister, nun, brother, monk, et al) prays Liturgy of the Hours everyday. It’s a series of prayers, psalms and readings done throughout the day at specific times. Night prayer is typically fairly short and always said at the very end of the day. It’s beautiful and I happen to have the app on my iPhone. That was some precious time with my cabin. Thanks for praying with me Grace, Daniela, Leah, Andrea, Noelle, Caitlin and Natalie.
8. No doubt, the time with Will was fantastic. Once he realized I wasn’t there to embarrass the pants off him, he was cool with me coming. Moments like these don’t come along often in our kids’ childhood. How blessed I felt to have this moment with Will.
9. Thursday night we enjoyed a “silent dinner.” You weren’t allowed to make any unnecessary sounds. If you did, a golden rock was placed in front of your plate. You were allowed to move the rock if someone else made a sound. At dinner’s end, if the rock was in front of your plate, they had a great “consequence.” At first, the adult table was all quiet and slightly annoyed that some of the tables just couldn’t seem to stop giggling…until we were the ones snorting. At one point, one of our dad’s had two rocks in front of his plate. I’ve never laughed so hard without making a sound. I burned some serious calories at that meal.
10. The week gave me an immense appreciation for our school. Many kids don’t get to experience what we did. That is a gift. The conversations I had with the teachers, fellow parents and the camp staff were just amazing. I loved laughing with the kids. The lessons, both tangible and intangible, were life altering. The global village was especially impressive (more on that later in the week). I am grateful to the school staff for taking the leap of faith and allowing us to attend, to the fifth grade teachers for giving so freely of their time, to the parents back home who set aside their fears and sent their kids away for four days and to the Camp Kappe staff who get paid peanuts for teaching some of life’s most important lessons.
Val, Ryan, Sr. Thomas Ann and Teri