There is a magic at camp that takes time to settle into the heart. A camper’s transition from the familiarity of home and family to the boisterous cabin life of a dozen or so ‘sisters’ — with the hugs and the bickering — can be unnerving for some girls. Often after a few letters to parents sharing angst or sadness, a note like this finds its way home: “I’m sorry about the letters I have been sending you about being homesick. I am having a great time at Wavus. We just got back from trip!” It takes patience — the Patience of the Heron — for campers, parents and counselors to allow the magic of Wavus to seep into the soul and lift the spirits of a homesick camper; However, a focus on the long game means that the short term discomfort is forgotten while the joys and accomplishments of camp are long remembered.
For more thoughts on homesickness and the AMAZING gift of camp you have given your daughter, you might enjoy this Huffington Post article by psychologist and author Michael Thompson.
On Sunday we gathered together at our Chapel in the Pines and shared reflections on the value of community – specifically our Wavus community – and I was absolutely floored by the wisdom, courage and gratitude that our campers and staff shared. Veteran HBC Addie Morgan, who wasn’t a Wavus camper, shared her journey to Wavus and reminded us all that anyone with an adventurous and open heart can find their tribe at Wavus. A handful of our youngest campers shared insight, songs and poems that reminded me that Wavus women are wise beyond their years. Below is a snippet of something the girls shared.
Here for a month
Feels like a minute
Cherishing each moment
And pushing the limits.
“Wish it was longer”
People will say
But spending a month this way
Is an opportunity you should
NEVER push away.
On another note, we are crossing the halfway mark for our longest trips, and the news from the trails and rivers is remarkable! Despite soggy weather and rigorous miles of travel, the girls are in good spirits and everyone is taking the time to soak in the beauty and lessons the wilderness has to offer. These young women have been returning to us for many years to develop their tripping skills and to discover their own resilience and leadership. For those campers who have recently joined us, or who still spend most of their days in camp with us, your future with Wavus, in the wilds of Maine, is an amazing one!
As a mother of campers, I recall these days between the halfway mark and the end as the most difficult for me. I yearned to squeeze my little girls but missing them made the reunion that much sweeter. Great days are ahead for all, and we will encourage our Wavus campers to embrace every single one. We hope you make time to have an adventure of your own …taking a risk and trying something new is good for us all!
All my best,