Camp Woodland Blog

The Gift of Time

Posted by on July 29, 2022

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 saying, “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.

There is no doubt that we are aware that the number of days at camp are dwindling. And quickly. We can’t help but feel it. The end of the summer always goes faster than the beginning. When the staff arrived and we had 10 days of pre-camp training this year, 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 1.28 weeks remaining now seem like nothing. All of a sudden, the surplus of time we banked on earlier in the summer can be counted on two hands. Now we wonder where did the time go?!

This realization makes us truly value the gift of time we have. While we can’t completely stop the clock from ticking, at the very least we can make it appear to slow down as we savor every moment from this point forward. To make the most of the remaining days that are left, it might be helpful to reflect on those things 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.

Things we should do MORE of:

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

Things we should do LESS of:

  • Stressing over the little stuff (someone borrowing something without asking)
  • Complaining (it’s so hot, the water is too cold)
  • Comparing our achievements to others (better to compare to earlier versions of ourselves)
  • Drama (unless it is your activity)
  • Worrying about what’s next after camp (school, work)
  • 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 “Cool to be You in ’22” one for the books! Bucket lists are being 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. We are enjoying time as cabin groups and a camp community. We are throwing in a few surprises here and there to keep things exciting (spoon tag coming up – get ready!).

This week was the much anticipated all-camp Olympics. There was an ENORMOUS amount of cheering across the swim area, field and Woodland Road as campers supported their own and the opposing team (Good Job Everybody, Good Job!). The counselors were SO into it – face paint, costumes, energy, and spirit – nothing short of the best kind of pure camp fun.

Regardless of whether we are at camp or at home or school, time is a gift. A gift without a price tag. Time has a way of showing us what really matters. At Camp Woodland, the people are what matter most. Yes, it may feel like “crunch” time and the days are getting to be 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?