Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mm Mm, I’d like to linger here...Mm Mm, A little longer here

Mm Mm, I’d like to linger here
Mm Mm, A little longer here
Mm Mm A little longer here with you
Mm Mm, It’s such a special night
Mm Mm, It doesn’t seem quite right
Mm Mm, That it should be my last with you
Mm Mm, And when the winter comes
Mm Mm, I’ll think of you and sigh
Mm Mm, This was good night and not good bye Mm Mm

Those are the words of one of my all time FAVORITE camp songs. I loved when we would sing songs by the camp fire at girl scout camp. We always started with the more fun and silly songs. Yet as it got closer to time to put the fire out and turn in for the night, thing moved to slower songs. I could never put my finger on why it was my favorite song, maybe I just liked the way it sounded. Yet now that I am older I get it. Sure I liked the way it sounded, but the words really summed up how I was feeling. I loved camp. I loved being with friends at camp. And I didn't want it to end. I LOVE CAMP!!

Fast forward many, many, many years. You would be a million more times likely to find me sporting a new purse with some super sassy shoes, than all grubby by a camp fire or hiking. Then  I got the opportunity to work as a day camp counselor at Camp Carter YMCA....It was like a switch went on.  I remembered why I worked so hard to sell a million girl scout cookies to earn all those free weeks at summer camp. I remembered they excitement waiting to see what new adventures would unfold in the "woods."  I remembered the feeling of how when you are at camp you felt like you could do anything, even stuff you would be afraid to try normally.  That summer as a counselor might be one of the greatest summers of my life. 

Alas, I graduated from college and got a big girl job, but my rekindled romance with camp didn't go away. Thankfully I worked for the MS Society who put on a 1 week summer day camp called Journey Camp. I got the opportunity to help take Journey Camp for 5 days held at our office to a full blown day camp out at Camp Carter. After 2 years of Journey Camp I thought I would never be apart of a more special camp experience and not being able to do camp was one of the hardest parts of leaving to go work for the Heart Association. I came to terms with  just enjoying those great memories. 

After a few years those memories became a little less vivid and my burning desire every summer to run off to camp subsided...till now! Journey Camp was amazing, but the last two days of Camp CARE have been beyond anything I could imagine. We have kids whose parents are extremely sick with cancer, kids whose parents are smack dab in the middle of fighting for their lives, kids who live with a sibling who has cancer, and several kids who have lost a parent to cancer very recently (including one whose parent lost their battle within the last 2 weeks.) Most of them could never afford to go to camp because their families are draining their budgets to fight cancer. 

Each day they attend music, art and play therapy sessions as well as doing normal camp activities. Seeing the kids work their emotions out in their sessions (for many this is the first time they have had a chance to try and work out their feelings with someone other than a family member) is inspiring and heart breaking all at the same time. Yet it isn't just the sessions with therapist where the magic happens. Camp is therapeutic in so many ways. As I said before, at camp you can do anything! For a few hours these kids are able to put aside the pain and fear they are dealing with and just be kids!  We are only though day to and I can tell you already that this might be one of the most amazing weeks I will ever experience. 

In the spirit of my craftiness and the tie dying activity I am leading tomorrow I worked up a few "sample" shirts for the kids to look at. A few of us are going to wear one of the samples I tomorrow, but of course just ti dying wasn't enough for me...I rhinestoned mine and glitter a back up for Thursday! Hey I am conquering the world one rhinestone at a time, right??? 

And to close this blog out I want to share a few of my favorite photos for my camp experiences as an "adult" (I am sure I will have several more to add after this week!)

Mm Mm, This was good night and not good bye Mm Mm

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