by Lynn Price, Founder of Camp to Belong
- I’ve said it many times to my kids; “use your inside voices. ” At the office, especially in the land of cubes, we say, “keep your voices down.”
But at Camp, we turn up the volume. Even when we want to quiet down the campers to give direction, we scream, “A Hush Fell Over the Crowd,” as our loud voice trails off. In the dining hall where we are really supposed to be quiet in ‘real life’, we start pounding the tables in unison and scream for one group to serenade another. When one camper is trying to make it up the climbing wall, every other camper and counselor in sight screams, “you can do this” at the top of their lungs. We raise our voices loudly and proudly, with purpose.
What I learned at Camp is screaming can be excitement resonating laughter, inviting others in and showing belief in possibility.
- Our daily lives are all about hurry up, hurry up. We hurry up to get our kids out the door. Drivers take up every inch on the road as though a couple feet is going to get them somewhere quicker. We start tapping the steering wheel when the drive through doesn’t deliver quick enough. We are up against deadlines and making our hysteria someone else’s.
But at camp, we wait patiently. The first step off the zip line platform takes time with an ebb and flow of people on the ground screaming, “you can do it!”….or displaying silence to allow the camper courage building time. At the closing campfire, a camper may come forward more than one time before finding the words to share thoughts about Camp. We wait as courage resounds.
What I learned at Camp is waiting is patience, respectful and brings fulfillment in whatever transpires on a schedule that may not be our own.
- There’s even a song, “Big Boys Don’t Cry.” Some say it is a sign of weakness. Men should hold in their emotions and thus their tears.
But at Camp, the male counselors and campers allow their eyes to brim with tears. And then those tears stream down their faces It is a sign of real emotion, unguarded feelings that often times unexpectedly come out of no where and bring depth to experience.
What I learned at Camp is tears are raw and real. When men and boys cry, it gives permission to other men and boys to express their feelings too. It shows heart and soul.
- People applaud and compliment volunteerism with handshakes and high fives of acknowledging how wonderful it is that one serves, gives back, helps, and participates.
But at Camp, volunteers don’t need or want applause – most volunteers are selfless voyagers who jump in the trenches just because. To be a cause.
What I learned at Camp is we get so much more than we give. We learn and we grow. We embrace receiving the greatest joys of meaningful connection and interaction.
Things not acceptable and discouraged in ‘real life’ – come to life at Camp.
Recognized as an Ashoka Fellow, (global social entrepreneur), Lynn Price is honored as a “changemaker” working tirelessly on behalf of siblings separated in foster care. Additionally, she gives keynotes and conducts workshops for the child welfare sector to inspire the community with gratitude, and, to social entrepreneurs to encourage them to bring their visions to fruition. She is the author of Vision For A Change, A Social Entrepreneur’s Insights From the Heart and Real Belonging, Give Siblings Their Right to Reunite®. Invite Lynn to speak at your next event! https://denverspeakersbureau.com/lynn-price