Novels are typically centered around the adversities undergone by a dynamic lead. In response to a devastating hardship, the lead winds up building character and learning a valuable lesson. In the story of our lives we cannot, and should not, solely rely on staggering moments to jolt us into awareness. Camp is an excellent place for young ladies to have character building experiences without stress.
Facing conquerable challenges is essential to boosting a person’s confidence and competence. Camp supplements these character building challenges with a safety net. Girls can shoot for the stars when failure isn’t devastating.
Respect, grace, dedication, and bravery
When a camper runs for an elected position, but doesn’t win it, she learns how to gracefully accept defeat. She learns that celebrating her opponent’s victory is worth more than wallowing in her own defeat. When a camper wins an elected position, she learns how to gracefully assume her new leadership role. Regardless of an appointed leadership position, all campers know they are setting an example for each other. They know their character is valued and supported by the rest of the camp.
Settling into a cabin isn’t always easy. Like with any relationship, having cabin mates is a lot of hard work. In the cabin, campers build their character by: being responsible for their own space, carrying their share of the chores, and extending kindness and patience to each other. Some days the name of the game is competition. These girls give it their all, then come back to the cabin with their opponents and treat each other as beloved sisters.
War Canoe is a big one. Even before they are ready to try out, campers fantasize about earning their place in the boat. Years’ worth of dedication, teamwork, effort, perseverance, sweat, tears, bruises, and much more come to a cathartic 55 seconds or so in the boat. Either her team wins, or it loses. A loss can be devastating, just as a victory is a lifelong milestone. What the war canoers do with the fruits of their labor is a testament to their character.
Every day, campers are given the opportunity to explore their values and articulate them to others. Sometimes sharing ideals happens under the blanket of the milky way, and sometimes it’s in front of the entire camp at Cypress Hollow.
Campers exhibit bravery every day. When the going gets tough, our girls get tougher. The character exhibited by Heart Girls is inspiring. Because campers, their families, and alumnae, The Heart seeks to refine her own character.
“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”-Dennis Prager