“Crunch” Time

Posted by on July 28, 2021

Time is such an interesting phenomenon. Young kids, especially, often have a distorted view of time and can have no concept and/or easily lose track of it (both good things!). They generally know that a few minutes is shorter than a few hours or days, but that is about the extent of it.

You might be familiar with the quote, “the days are long, but the years are short”. I sometimes feel that way about camp; the days are long, but the summer is short! I have often said that a typical camp day is really 3 days. The morning is a day. The afternoon is another day. The evening is a third day. This explains why we are so tired at night. By the time we crawl under the covers, we have really been up for 3 days straight! It is also the reason we sleep so deeply and so well in our cozy cabins.

At our Sunday staff meeting earlier this week, we talked about “Crunch” time (and enjoyed a tasty treat – thank you NestlĂ©!). We recognize that the number of days at camp are dwindling. And quickly. The end of the summer always goes faster than the beginning. When staff arrived and had an extra week of pre-camp training this year, the 8 (previously 7) weeks of summer stretched out ahead of us. We had all the time in the world. In June there seemed to be an endless supply of the camp days we long for the rest of year. Or so we thought. The roughly 1.5 weeks remaining now seem like nothing. All of a sudden, the surplus of time we thought we had earlier in the summer can be counted on two hands. Now we wonder where did the time go?

This realization brought us to have an interesting conversation. To make the most of the remaining days that are left, what do we need to do MORE and LESS of so that we are truly present and enjoying every single minute of this precious commodity called time? We reflected on the idea of “more” and “less” from an individual perspective and then broadened it to include the staff team. What can WE do more/less of that will impact the camper experience to an even greater degree?

I was impressed with the honesty of the staff in this opportunity to hit “pause” for a moment. While we can’t completely stop the clock from ticking, at the very least we can make it appear to slow down as we ponder and make note.

Things we should do MORE of:

  • Spending time with friends
  • Singing
  • Being in the moment
  • Adding new twists to activities
  • Being flexible (knowing that some things are out of our control)
  • Recognizing the good things
  • Focusing on the positive
  • Appreciating nature
  • Getting rest
  • Being grateful
  • Assuming the best intentions of others

Things we should do LESS of:

  • Spending time on our devices (I know I’m guilty)
  • Complaining (it’s so hot, the water is too cold)
  • Comparing to others (better to compare to earlier versions of ourselves)
  • Drama (unless it is your activity)
  • Eating Dan’s lasagne (well, maybe not…)

I can assure you that since we know what we are up against with our fight against time, we are acutely aware of what needs to happen to make the “Here Comes the Sun in ’21” one for the books! Bucket lists have been made. We don’t want there to be any regrets. Staff are pouring everything they have into making the final sign-up of activities one of progress and skill advancement. Cabin night was Cathy’s ice cream for Hilltop, Aqua Tramp for Tamarack, and a swim party for Sunnyside (just to name a few!).

Today is the much anticipated all-camp Olympics. As I write this, I can hear the Dominican Devils and Maylasian Medusas cheering across the swim area, field and Woodland Road as they root for their own and the opposing team (Everybody Plays, Everybody Wins). The counselors are SO into it – face paint, costumes, energy, and spirit – nothing short of the best kind of pure camp fun. Yes, it is “crunch” time and the days are getting less and less, but there is still MORE summer to do!! A LOT more.

p.s. What can YOU do more/less of in the days before your camper/s return home?