Seasons Change at Camp and in LifePosted by Alicia DeHart on October 19, 2021
The recent weeks at camp have definitely been showing the signs of fall at Fernwood Cove. Cooler temperatures means long pants and even mornings where we are pulling on our fleeces and hats. We are also noticing the days getting shorter which makes us truly take advantage of the daylight hours. As we spend our time outdoors we are surrounded by the beautiful fall colors and warmed by the bright sunshine. Our surroundings remind us that the seasons change at camp and in life, bringing renewal and growth to the outdoors and to each of us.
As fall moves in we are reminded of the amazing summer we had at Fernwood Cove this summer. The activities, the events, the friendships, and the memories. Most important to us is the growth and change we saw each day in our campers, CITs, and staff. Seeing everyone reconnect and thrive at camp this summer was truly extraordinary. Much like the trees that surround us during the summer, we can now shed what we no longer need and hold onto the growth and improvements from the summer.
Seasons Change at Camp
The beauty that surrounds us each day of the summer is truly extraordinary. The green grass, lush trees, and blue skies can almost make our days feel like a fairytale. However, we feel we are the lucky ones that get to experience camp in all of its seasons each year. Exploring camp in the cool days of fall often brings time to reflect on the summer. Whether it’s focus activities or the squeals of laughter from the slip & slide during Carnival, we often find ourselves remembering moments of our camp days when we’re out on the property.
As the seasons change at camp we also see things in a different light. The views are different when the lake and camp buildings are surrounded by fall foliage. As Jim explores the forest he enjoys foraging for mushrooms which often flourish in the early fall months. There are also different sounds and smells as the animals and plants prepare for the winter. It’s a great reminder for each of us to slow down and begin to prepare for what’s ahead.
Change Brings Growth
Often we see change as a negative thing. We have expectations based on past experiences and we look forward to recreating those experiences. Hence the disappointment when things (activities, events, people, etc.) are different. Coming into summer 2021 we knew things were going to be different. And we worked to maintain the mindset of “How can we do this?” rather than “It’s going to be different”. With this mindset we were able to maintain Fernwood Cove traditions that we all know and love while also maintaining a healthy and safe community.
As the summer progressed Fernwood Cove directors found ourselves realizing that many of the changes we had made due to COVID were truly positive changes. Some are changes we wish we would have done years ago. We were quickly reminded that often change brings growth and improvement. We hope that we won’t have to operate camp with strict COVID protocols in the future. However, we know that if we have to make changes due to COVID or other circumstances we will end up with positive growth in the end. And that growth is so much of what summer camp is all about.
Camp Skills During The Seasons Of Life
One of the main goals at Fernwood Cove is for campers, CITs, and staff to return home having gained skills and experiences that make them more prepared for life. The past year and a half (almost two years) has been the most challenging season or chapter of life for many of us. This includes our kids. This summer we recognized how these challenges have impacted us all- especially our campers. Thankfully, we also recognized how camp helped our campers, CITs, and staff reconnect with themselves and better understand what they are capable of. We overcame so many things to return to camp and while at camp. And knowing we positively impacted the Fernwood Cove community is so incredibly rewarding. We all need to remember we can use our camp skills during the seasons of life outside of camp!
Now that we are all home it’s easy to forget what we learned while at camp. Fernwood Cove girls learned about tenacity and grit. They learned about personal sacrifice for the benefit of someone else or a larger group. They gained independence and learned skills that helped them build true and lasting relationships. All of these skills are things that will help them in life, especially when there is change. As you help your camper(s) navigate life’s everchanging seasons remind them of what they learned at camp. And then ask how they can apply those things to their current non-camp situation. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder that they already have the tools and ability to be successful or navigate life’s challenges!
We Know Change Is Coming
The recent seasons of life have brought considerable changes for so many of us. As we continue to move forward we are likely to face new changes as we navigate the COVID pandemic and beyond. Nature has a great way of reminding us that change is a part of the natural cycle of things. As we live the current season we know change is coming – whether it’s in the form of winter or other life changes. Because of camp, Fernwood Cove girls are better prepared to navigate these changes, whatever they may be, for many years to come!