Dear Camp Families,
After 17 years of summer camp – which includes thousands of tie-dye shirts, countless loops around the go-kart track, hundreds of campfire skits, more s’mores than you can imagine, and spool upon spool of friendship bracelet string – you would think that we have everything down to a science and know what to expect each June when our gates open to the first buses of the summer. What amazes us each year though is that we don’t. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our campers and counselors continue to teach us new things, show us new ways to love, challenge us to be creative, gift us with the deepest belly-laughs we can muster, and demonstrate the increasing relevance of the camp experience – for us all.
Summer 2017 in particular really highlighted for us that camp is not only about laughing uncontrollably, singing at the top of your lungs in the middle of a crowded dining hall, finding out how high you can climb on the ropes course, letting go of your inhibitions as you jump up on stage, or creating memories with new and old friends in the relaxing hours of summer (although it, of course, has all of that), it is about so much more. Camp is about the little moments. The moments we all too often let pass us by because we are staring at our phones, or we are worried about what someone else will think of us, or we are anxious about the next big test. In a world where all of our children are feeling more stress, are under more pressure, and may feel more scrutinized through friends and social media than ever, it is a refreshingly pleasant reminder for all of us to see kids including each other, laughing with each other, not caring what they look like, and simply just being kids. We are constantly amazed at the sincere sense of community that happens in the little moments at Canyon Creek as campers talk and really connect with each other (without a single electronic device in their midst). We knew 17 years ago that we had something special at ‘The Creek,’ but we could never have imagined the community that has blossomed out of the idea to create a space where kids can be outside, running around, having fun, and experiencing childhood as it should be.
We should all be so lucky to be around kids all day, every day to soak up the inherent joy, curiosity, and empathy they possess. We know that we are very, very lucky. Not a day passes that we don’t feel immensely thankful to you for sharing your kid with us at Canyon Creek. We hope that the lessons your kids learned in all of their little moments this summer will stay with them long after they have graduated from camp. Sharing cabin space and being respectful of other people’s habits and mannerisms will one day help them when they go off to college and have to share an unapologetically small dorm room. Or one day when they accept their first job and have to navigate the working world with coworkers, they will have the foundation of community and respect they developed at Canyon Creek. In the meantime, we will look forward to sharing the refreshing mountain air and glorious summer sun with your kids each year at ‘The Creek’ and we look forward to opening our gates again next June to see what Summer 2018 has in store for us all!
Peace, Love, & Camp
Daryl and Nathalie