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Lost and Found: How we find ourselves after losing our campers!

DSCF2023A month’s worth of belongings are packed up and shipped off. The river returns to a gentle ripple. Tumbleweed blows gently in the wind. Well maybe that last analogy is a bit of an exaggeration, but really, in the days that follow camp closing the adjustment of going from having over 200 people on camp to less than 10 is exactly that – a huge adjustment and very quiet! Having been a counselor for the two previous summers, I never really understood what really went on behind the scenes once that final school bus filled with counselors left the beauty that is Heart O’ the Hills. Does everyone left on camp just go straight to Mesa Manner for an ice cream party at Jane’s? Surely Lost and Found just magically disappears? Does Spot finally have helpers to dig their way through to China?

Well, let me just tell y’all that, in the days after camp closes its gates the work does not draw to a screeching halt. Much like campers, our first priority is to rest. Going from being in camp mode, all systems go 24/7, 7 days a week for the past 3 months to having absolutely no campers or counselors at camp pretty much feels like falling off a treadmill going 125mph. In other words, it hurts. So we sleep! After all that adrenaline has eventually worn off then we turn to the ever amounting pile that is Lost and Found. And boy is there a LOT. No matter how many times we tell both campers and counselors to check L&F the mass never ends, it’s as if some campers leave half their lives at camp! And obviously it needs a home to go to! You would think it would just be as simple as boxing it up and sending it off. But no, it needs organized, categorized by name or no name, we need to contact the owners to see if those left behind items are actually wanted back home. Then we box it up, tape it all up and process for mailing. Not the most exciting of jobs considering we’ve just went from being surrounded by madness and fun for a full month!
Once Lost & Found is recovered and homed we then move onto a full on review of the summer. DSC06092-3What worked, what didn’t, making notes of all those ideas and thoughts for next year. Yes you heard right, next year. The planning is happening already! Some counselors have already made it crystal clear that they will be returning which just goes to show the lasting impression the Heart and the campers here have on our staff. There has been a ton of interest in Head Staff positions so if this is something you’re thinking about please do get in touch with me. But campers and parents, please do make sure you tell us your thoughts, at the end of the day camp is for y’all! Here’s the link to a post camp evaluation: We would love to have as many responses as possible to make sure that year on year we’re getting bigger and better!
Before I head on back across the pond in October I’ll be visiting the major cities in TX to visit y’all so stay tuned for more info on that! But for now, that’s it for summer 2016. The goodbyes have been said, the tears have been shed and the magic of camp lives on. <3

About the Author

Laura Gallagher

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Program Director at Heart O' the Hills. Born and bred in Scotland. Sometimes incomprehensible when faced with exciting situations.

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