Ode to the Summer Camp

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how downright magical summer camps are? There is nothing quite like the thrill of new pals exploring the grooves of Mother Nature together, the immeasurable warmth and sweetness of everything that surrounds (or roasts in) the hallowed campfire, or the treasure chest of memories we get to carry away with our refreshed minds and bodies. As my boy Hemingway once said (probably):

“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead”

Those words were the guiding star for our dirty, unshod feet and glittering eyes. It is those precious weeks, indeed, that will keep us young for many years after.

At the start of this school year, I had the distinct pleasure of being a Welcome Week Guide. Now mark my words, Welcome Week for the freshman at Creighton is no small affair – neither is it merely one week long! In fact, although I am jokingly fond of likening the grueling training, endless chanting, hectic planning, exhausting moving-in, attendance-demanding components of Welcome Week to hazing, it did successfully pull us all together as a tough-as-nails team. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Our glorious Creighton fight song still haunts my post-Wecome Week dreams, which may or may not be a very good thing. Courtesy of hindsight, the whole ordeal has the same nostalgic, endearing aura as the ghosts of summer camps past, which is definitely a superb thing – the kind of memories that you lock away for a rainy day. Those days mark my first encounters with the raw beauty of the human spirit. I perpetually wish I could forget how exciting that first, lucky, and instant camaraderie is, so I could rediscover and relive it once again. Though the virtues of independence, cooperation, and simple living were irritatingly uncomfortable at points, they were much like the annoying mosquito bites that speckled our suntanned skin – inconsequential.

Again I come to the realization, discipline is the sandpaper which smooths out our rough edges and shapes us into more elegant beings. Even through the tears of jealousy, frustration, and loneliness, growing up turned out to be a hell of a fun ride! And here’s to the happy knowledge that the process is not nearly finished…