It’s that time of year at Camp Stevens when lots of transitions are happening. As Ashley wrote in the May wrap-up post from a couple days ago, Winter Staffers Lindsay, Sarah, Greg, and Jacob are headed north and east and Ashley C., our Assistant Chef who’s been with us for a few months, is packing her truck as well. Their houses will be taken by incoming summer staff and a new person in the kitchen, helping Neil feed the mouths of many a summer camper with garden produce and healthy, organic, homemade food.
This time of year is an interesting one for those of us who remain. We’ve built relationships of different kinds with those who’ve been around and have to say good-bye. In the transition, we learn about folks’ experiences of Camp Stevens, their take on the work balance of program with children and adults and support: washing dishes, changing Malibu light bulbs, and projects they maybe didn’t know how to do when they arrived. They share impressions of the community and highlight the especially good times living here. It is through this reflection that we have the opportunity to grow and learn as a community, both in the way the work piece operates and in the way we live together.
And the other side of folks moving on to bigger and better are the new faces that will be arriving soon. Summer staffers are driving across the country as I type excited about their adventures here for the next few months. Some new, some returning, all bringing fresh ideas and energy as the season changes to summer camp.
Admittedly, there have been times when I wish I’d never left New York, and especially the small town I grew up in. My mother lives less then a mile from the house she was brought home from the hospital to after she was born. She and my dad go to the same church my grandparents were baptized at. I taught swim lessons as a young adult at the lakefront property that had been owned by my great-great grandfather as pasture before it was divided among my grandfather and his siblings. There is something idyllic and dreamy about knowing one’s neighbors and the community as intimately as my parents and grandparents know and knew theirs.
But this transition, this new breath of staff energy and ideas, the new faces and stories that come and go from Camp Stevens each weekend and season, and those I’ve met across the country as I made my way here, all these people, especially, remind me that the heartache of being so far from home is worth it, at least most of the time!
What does transition mean for you? Do you find it inspiring and reflective? How do you find balance between the inspiration and anxiety? And how have you grown through change?
Whim: “sudden idea.” This monthly post promises a number of things: personal thoughts and reflections, showing off Camp Stevens’ programs and staff, announcements for upcoming opportunities, and answering questions or responding to comments “from the audience.” If you have a topic or question you’d like addressed, just e-mail Beth!