For the first time in recent memory, the NY/NJ/CT buses and our Boston buses arrived at Camp within moments of each other. The sky was blue, the clouds billowing white, and spirits were high. At Evergreen's Sharenow Ballfield, geographies reunited in a frenzy of embraces and excited shrieks. New campers decamped from the buses with their first new friends, a product of a bus ride of conversation, singing, and celebration.
A similar scene took place for Kenwood's boys in the Hollow, a small but sacred field that lies at the heart of our campus. The male staff formed a lengthy archway, finger tips touching to form a roof. As every camper traveled that corridor of cheering counselors, they each knew that they had entered a different world, one in which positive energy would abound, and friendship and caring for others are paramount.
Your children were introduced to their bunkmates and counselors, and soon peeled off to explore their bunks, tour camp with the units, and generally embrace opening day with enthusiasm and the excitement that comes with discovery. By 6pm , we were all together in the Assembly Area, convening as a Camp community for the first time. We cheered the start of the season, we celebrated the birthdays of three of our Kenwood campers, and shared in many of the traditions that anchor the summer for your children. These daily routines provide comfort and a sense of connection to something greater.
After a wonderful dinner prepared by our new team of chefs, we prepared for the evening's main entertainment, the 2013 "Counselor Show". Our staff have spent several hours over the last two weeks preparing short skits and performances for your children, meant to distract, delight, and amuse. They sang, they lip-synched, they danced (sometimes in drag) and showed your children that this is a fun place, a place to laugh (even at yourself), and a place where you can put aside that internal dialogue and just be yourself. Your children were a wonderful audience, and the evening was interrupted by several standing ovations.
At the end of it all, we sang "Taps" together, and everyone returned to their bunks with their counselors, settling down into the soon-to-be routine rhythms of bedtime. Our leadership team traveled throughout Camp, checking in on your children and saying goodnight to each of them. I visited many bunks tonight, and saw counselors engaged in connecting with your children, helping them get to know each other, and putting them at ease by showing them that they are loved here too.
As midnight closes in, please know that your children are safe and sound, and another wonderful summer has just begun. Sleep well tonight...I know that they will.