Traditions at Fernwood Cove – ServicesPosted by Beigette Gill on May 11, 2017
Fernwood Cove has many traditions and one of the most meaningful to me is our non-denominational Services. At the end of each week the camp community gathers together in the Chickawah Theater. We face the fireplace where we are led by our oldest age groups in a service. Each age group chooses a topic that is important to them and related to Fernwood Cove values. Campers then write personal speeches and choose songs based on their topic.
Over the years campers’ topics for services have included reflecting on camp, taking safe risks, personal growth, camp sisters, independence, confidence, friendship, connections, leadership, and kindness. Services provide each member in the camp community with an opportunity to reflect upon how camp has impacted their lives.
Personal Experiences and Reflections
It is truly incredible how campers share their camp stories and bring the camp community together. Our 7th grade campers lead their service at the end of the first week of camp. As new and up and coming leaders in camp this is the first time they stand in front of the entire camp community to share their personal experiences and reflections. It is a significant and special moment as they grow and prepare to be leaders in camp. Our 8th grade (junior) campers lead their service at the end of the second week. This is often their second time and opportunity to present in front of the whole camp. Here are some excerpts from some 2016 Services speeches.
7th grade – Personal Growth- Leadership
“Learning to be a leader doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to push yourself to your limits, and work hard. Mistakes happen and lessons are learned. It takes courage, belief and determination to get there. A true leader doesn’t just take action, they listen to others and trough this they learn to become a stronger, more reliable person.” Hannah
8th grader – Camp Sisters
“When we were younger, we always wished we had a sister, but when we came to camp we realized that you don’t need to be related by blood to be sisters” “we have our camp sisters.” “Each year we grow closer and closer and we trust each other more and more” Victoria and Arabella
Love of Camp
On our 3rd and final week of camp, services are led by our 9th grade (Senior) campers. This is often a very emotional and heart felt service as our seniors share their love for camp and the many memories they have. In addition Senior Services are when Seniors prepare to say their goodbyes to their camper years. Here is a Senior Service speech from our 2016 summer.
9th grade – Reflections on Camp
“I used to be a very quiet and lonely girl. I wasn’t confident, and I certainly did not want to come to a sleep away camp that my mom was forcing me to go to, just so I could struggle to make friends like I usually would. As it turns out, that camp would turn me into a person that wasn’t afraid anymore. I have learned things here at Fernwood Cove that not many people are lucky enough to learn in their entire lives. I have been able to venerate and love my beautiful bunk moms, who have inspired me to become more confident and positive in every aspect of my life. I am no longer afraid to make friends, nor am I scared of what people think of me. I have learned to be strong, to love myself for who I really am instead of wishing that I was someone else. I am able to see the beauty in every situation, every person and every place. I look for the silver lining in things, maybe even a little to often. I am happier, more helpful and kinder because of the inspiring people that I have been blessed to be here with every day.
My family here at FC is my true family, whom I love unconditionally. My bunk counselors are my parents who I look up to and adore more than any adults I’ve ever known. Bunkmates are my sisters, my best friends in the world. They are the people who love me for who I am and give me more joy than most people could ever imagine. There are the counselors that I’ve barely known who have hugged me and told me that I’m beautiful and will do great things. I know that each and everyone of the people here is beautiful too. And with the gifts that we’ve received here and the ones that we give to each other, we too can all be amazing in our own way. So thank you, to my family, for making theses summers the highlight of my life; and for making the rest of my life extraordinary too. I will cherish my time in the Extraordinary World for the rest of my life. There is no greater gift than your love.” Emily.
The Positive Impact
Over the past thirteen years I have not missed a Service. I have laughed and cried with campers as they have shared their personal experiences. I have been filled with joy as campers have highlighted the positive impact Fernwood Cove has had on each of them. Our camp services bring everyone together, as we celebrate in the wonders of camp and our extraordinary world.