Throwback Thursday - Fourth Of July Edition

By Green River Preserve

Tonight our campers will deck themselves out in American apparel and patriotic spirits for our “Throwback Thursday to the Fourth of July” dinner. Why the throwback? The date July 4th just so happened to fall on our weekend-long Campout. Although this annual adventure certainly doesn’t lack in good times, it just wasn’t the ideal setting for all of the fireworks and food appropriate for such an occasion. So we postponed the quintessential American celebration until tonight. But even though we’ll enjoy our fun-filled night full of friends, food, and community, I think Campout’s Fourth of July has already provided great fun and great experiences to rival tonight’s celebration. This is quite the tall order. But upon further examination, one can see that Campout has created some great memories that last longer than our days at camp.

Upon first glance, one will find that Campout is an experience that takes some certain kinds of hard work. Coming first is the physical challenge. After the appropriate preparations, each day begins with a hike and a full pack of gear. This can be a very challenging experience for many campers and counselors alike, as already demanding hikes may be punctuated by random bursts of rainfall that threaten to soak all of our precious equipment. In addition to the athletic kind of challenge, Campout also brings a mental trial taking the form of much-needed teamwork from each camper. Every duty from setting up shelters to digging the sump hole must be done with patience and cohesion as cabins deliberate and act on appropriate plans of action. It’s a full experience that can push the boundaries of everyone involved. Taking all of that together, Campout seems to be a rut. Hard work is good, but where’s the fun?

At the end of each challenging day, campers get to reap the rewards of their hard work. These lights at the end of the proverbial tunnel are things like reward, accomplishment, growth, and finally, fun. Each of them can tell us something extremely valuable that Campout provides. The reward part is obvious. After all, who doesn’t like to have a good long rest at the end of a hard days work? Many campers will tell you that sometimes the best feeling is just being done. But it isn’t all so negative. Often these feelings of gratification are followed by a second virtue, accomplishment. When you do something challenging like backpacking, you really can’t help but pat yourself on the back. One great thing about Campout is all the bragging about what you did at the end. But after that, thoughts drift from what you did to what you can do.

This brings us to growth. Experiences like Campout are far and few between, but they can really show somebody what they’re capable of. And finally, aside form all these more serious virtues, is great fun. From afternoons full of socializing and games to nights of laughter by the crackling campfire, Campout is a time where great memories are made. We’ll enjoy all the fireworks and pie, but the real Fourth of July has provided us with memories that will last a lifetime.

-Henry, Big Laurel 1 Counselor