Spirit of CampfirePosted by Alicia Theriault on May 25, 2017
Once a week, campers, CITs, and counselors gather around the campfire to reflect on, and appreciate, the week that has passed. It is an opportunity for all to share their continued mutual love and pride for Fernwood Cove. Our enjoyment of gathering around a fire may date back to prehistoric times and be deeply rooted in evolution. However, a Fernwood Cove campfire is unlike any other. We are not just gathering around a fire for enjoyment. And we are not just hanging out. After a week of roaming winding trails, trying new things, and exploring the extraordinary world, these blazing campfires welcome us and are a symbol of returning home. What separates these campfires from the rest is spirit, and it is spirit in every sense of the word.
Nowhere else on Earth will you find a more spirited group of people shouting at the top of their lungs about jelly on a plate that wibbles and wobbles. High-energy cheers and camp songs allow each camper, CIT, and counselor to share their unbridled joy and love for camp. There is no amount of words that would even come close to accurately portraying the camp spirit that comes from songs about singing in the rain, a world-travelling wizard, a little red wagon, and even our very own Moxie. These songs in conjunction with iconic dance moves allow people to come together to laugh, sing, and simply exist in the present moment.
The Spirit of Nature
The campfire site is lined with trees, stretching infinitely into the sky. These trees bend with the gentle summer breeze. They wave goodnight to the sun as it quietly sets over Island Pond. Campfire is a moment in the week where the camp community connects with the spirit of nature. The warmth of the fire calmly wraps you in the comfort and memories of being home. And the quiet whisper of the trees bending in the wind reminds you to breathe and be present.
At the end of each campfire, Alicia, guides the camp through a co-created rainstorm in which we use different hand beats to replicate the different sounds heard during a storm. These rainstorms are an opportunity to listen and to reflect on how one person’s actions can contribute to the greater good. Above all, these rainstorms are a reminder that together, we are a force of nature. Together, we are unstoppable.
In staring into the fire, looking deep into its flames, there is an opportunity to find your spirit. Fire itself is a magical and mysterious element. It cannot be touched, and yet it is felt. A fire is seen and heard. And it has the power to alter both lives and landscapes in an instant. Campfire is an opportunity for each individual to think about the magic and mystery that exists within us. To think about how we are powerful, just like fire.
It is a chance to reflect on our individual spirit and how we can embody fire. By being ourselves, we can empower others to do the same— we can be a spark for someone. We can wrap people with love and warmth—spreading love and light everywhere we go. And we have the chance to believe that we are magical and extraordinary beings. We can create impact and change by existing as our true selves.
Thank you to staff member Rebecca Jacobson for sharing her insights on how the spirit of campfire impacts the Fernwood Cove community.