FRIDAYS WITH FRANKY! Back to the ‘Real’ World… Really?
Oh so quickly another summer has come to a close. It is sad to no longer hear the laughter of campers, the sound of spring-loaded screen doors slamming shut, the bells ringing for meals & activities and the songs being sung all throughout camp. I no longer have any campers to run with or to fawn over me during valley time. What confuses me the most though, is everyone who said they were going back to the ‘real world’. What exactly does that mean? Isn’t camp a real gathering of real people? Real people from around the country and the world? A real community where people are comfortable being who they really are, where they have fun, make friends and support each other? How is camp not a real world? I know I’m just a dog, but I don’t get it – if the so called ‘real world’ were more like camp, wouldn’t it be so much better??!!
At WeHaKee Camp for Girls, campers experience the splendor and beauty of God’s great outdoors ~ try finding tall white pines and sparkling lake waters under clear blue skies in the city or along the interstate highways! The outdoor experiences at WeHaKee are as natural as it gets and it isn’t the concrete creation of the shopping mall planter or transplanted parking lot tree.
At WeHaKee, girls are immersed in a loving and supportive community that encourages and empowers them to be their true selves without worry or fear. Girls feel free to step well beyond thier comfort levels and meet new lifelong friends, friends that will embrace thier uniqueness and differences. We are all well aware of the research and real-life experiences of girls during middle school and into high school – generally not the most affirming time for many girls.
At Camp WeHaKee, having the right labels and hanging with the right crowd just doesn’t seem to matter. It’s much more about who you are and what you do that is important. It’s not uncommon to see campers with the same t-shirt that they wore yesterday… and maybe even the day before! And there are so many new things to try, each girl can greatly expand all that she can do during each summer at camp.
In the ‘real world’ it seems the inner self must be guarded, often to the point of stifling the true self. Shopping and consumerism has become a recreational activity – really?? And friendships are more influenced by status, labels and popularity than character and integrity. But the camp world reduces, even eliminates many of these these barriers, helping girls and young women grow in independence and confidence. As a well read, knowledgable camp dog, it seems to me that the real and most important elements we need on our lives are found at camp and frequently disguised or disgarded outside of the camp community. So I encourage everyone to think twice about the concept of leaving camp to return to the real world – I suggest that it is just the opposite!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend everyone!