As we approach the end of the year holidays, thoughts of family always come to mind. During November and December, it seems that we take an extra break from the day to day and spend quality time with our families. Usually there will be multiple gatherings at various homes where families get together for elaborate meals and lots of conversation of the year that passed. There always seems to be happy things like new babies born and new marriages during the year which increases the size of the family. You also get to find out the achievements of family members that you may not have heard about during the year. So, it’s a good time to catch up on those kinds of things.
As I get older it seems like each year passes faster and faster. Back when you were a child in school, the year used to seem like a very long time. I always looked forward to the time when studying and school tests were over, and summer was upon me. From age 3 to 12 I actually went to Shibley Day Camp so many years ago. I cherished those 8 weeks of summer camp before it was time to start school again. My favorite activities in camp back then were basketball, softball, swimming and lunch. When I was in the older groups, we had tournaments in basketball and leagues in softball. That’s where I learned what it was like to win and to lose and how to handle either properly, definitely a good life lesson since life is a series of ups and downs and those sports activities as a child helped me to deal with adult life situations.
Those sports also taught me how to work together as a team for a common goal, another skill needed when you get out in the world and become part of an organization. While swimming at camp I progressed through the various Red Cross levels and became a great swimmer. These swimming lessons taught me how to challenge myself by learning new skills, many of which were difficult. The life lesson learned here was to persevere even when things were not easy… yet another life skill needed for adulthood. Years later I worked as a lifeguard at Shibley teaching children to swim.
Back when I grew up in the 1960’s from age 4 to 13 it seemed like a much more innocent time than today. I think it’s much harder to go through the growing up process for the kids nowadays. So much has changed from the 1960’s up to the present time. Children today have to be able to deal with so much more stuff than we did back in the day. At least camp has remained similar. To me it is still about making friends, learning how to be part of a group and doing a lot of fun activities. For the last 25 years I have worked at camp year-round. I consider myself very lucky that for me camp never ends whatever the time of the year. The best and most special time though is during the summer when everyone is here. Only 7 months until they all come back. Stay warm in the meantime and have an enjoyable holiday season.