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A moment we all wait for…

It is a moment of great anticipation and significance at camp that is often overlooked. Throughout the years, there have been different methods for determining the outcome. Counselors have spun wheels, had campers choose Popsicle sticks, written lists, and a variety of other methods to find out what happens next. Campers and staff know they are better skilled or believe they have better chances of winning in some areas more than others. They plan throughout the day for how they will win tomorrow. The stakes are high. There have been statues to be won, gold-painted camp relics you can display proudly in your cabin, dinners served in special places around camp, special guests at your dinner table, and coveted first in line spots for the camp store. As the week carries on, the excitement can build for this moment. It’s the moment you find out your caper assignment.**

Why build so much excitement and anticipation over a plastic figurine or 30 minutes of tidying a cabin? First, the obvious answer is that it is camp, and camp is a place to have fun with tasks that can be very ordinary. Second, and most importantly, it is about ownership and belonging. We don’t want campers to feel like camp is another vacation spot that they forget and remember only by pictures found 20 years later. We want campers to feel a sense of belonging. The more that they feel like they are contributing, sharing, and living in this community together, the more we hope they will feel like this is where they belong and are loved. We want them to feel a sense of ownership and pride for a special place over 85 years old. This concept was demonstrated this past weekend as we shared our sense of pride by working collectively to carry on this community. Groups were created. Tasks were assigned. Deadlines were set. In the end, we were rewarded by a great sense of accomplishment and belonging.




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**Everyday campers are given capers or small chores to help keep camp tidy while there are over 100 residents sharing the same space. To add excitement, groups of campers (usually formed by cabin/wakeya group) have a friendly competition to see who can do the best job for their caper.

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