We had another wonderful day welcoming many new and returning campers and their families! Waves of anticipation and excitement could be felt throughout camp during all hours—on behalf of our staff, as well, who woke up early and eager to begin an enthusiastic and adventure-filled third session.
As soon as you pulled out of our driveway today, your girls spent time in their cabins getting to know new and old friends and counselors. Not long afterwards they got to explore a few other parts of camp, too, including our lake during a swim-test event we fondly call “Discovering Doris.” Just before dinner, we met to elect our new tribal leaders so that they could prepare for what is probably my favorite evening activity at camp.
As you might well know, we always spend our first night of a session initiating campers into their tribes (see list of initiates below!).
Mary Katherine R.
The oldest campers don our newest with the colors of their tribes as we gather together around a fire at the council ring to cheer each other on. Despite it being a well-rehearsed Merri-Mac tradition, something about our time together during initiation always feels new. We can never celebrate a place and people that both naturally and intentionally create and celebrate a place of belonging too much, it seems.
We need that renewed sense of belonging each day, too, and we get to encounter it beautifully here at camp. Just as tonight we roared with smiling tribal cheers and new campers swelled with pride as their tribal leaders led them around the fire to join their new tribes, tomorrow we will find activities in which we can discover surprising parts of ourselves and friends with whom we can share joys and worries for the weeks and years to come. We’ll hug a kitchen staff member for making our favorite meal and shout “I’m a mountain-woman!” when we reach the top of the climbing tower. And all the while, I think there’s something about being immersed in spaces outside, as well, that overwhelms us with an inexplicable sense that we fit quite well where we are present.
It is our hope that in the days to come your girls embrace the courage and gentle confidence that accompany feelings of belonging here at Merri-Mac, even if they can’t quite capture the crazy things that happen here each day with their words. We feel proud to have them and to watch the ways they genuinely cherish each other on this Sunday night! There isn’t a better summer job in the world. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming trips to Camp Cup (kayaking), DuPont (mountain biking), Lookout Mountain (backpacking), and more!
From this haven,