The best things at camp ALWAYS happen when parents can’t see them, and White Feather is the perfect example. Tonight was our first Merri-Mac Council and it is one of my favorite nights of the year. I get a lump in my throat every time I watch our girls get recognized for their own growth and gifts, and I wish like anything that you could have seen it too. So what is it?

Every week we gather at the Teepee and give awards. Some of these are activity achievements, others recognize elective challenges like solo backpacking trips or catching an especially large frog (which takes a bit of courage), and some are character-based. For each award girls receive pins to place on their pennants, and this gives a permanent record of their growth. These are great but the best part of tonight was that the girls could not stop cheering for their friends. They were genuinely happy for each other, there was zero envy (and another lump in my throat).

But the best part is happening right now, as I write this. Tonight the counselors will sit by each girl’s bed and they will tell them that they are proud of any awards given. But they will be careful in the way they do that. Our girls are not supposed to be a list of accomplishments. They are supposed to show up (adventure – take a risk)  and connect (friends). That is the way God made us; that is the important part. So tonight our counselors,  instead of talking about awards and accolades, they will tell the girls how they see God working in their lives. They will tell them what they see as their unique contribution to their cabin, and where they have seen them grow.

So if you want a lump in your throat don’t ask your daughter about her awards. Ask her about her friends. That is when her eyes will really light up.

From This Haven…