When I was a kid the transition from summer to school year was wrapped in shopping trips for clothes and supplies, a half day to start the semester and a new bed time (yuck). Maybe it was the same for you. I’m aware that it isn’t all that different these days as kids and families everywhere are in some way or another making way for new routines which I have noticed lately is marked by the posting of first day of school pictures on Facebook and Instagram. I love these as tokens of memories to be treasured as we have this front row seat to watch our friend’s children grow from year to year. It’s good stuff.
A transition is also happening at CYO Camp. It goes a little like this.
Our last summer campers depart at 2pm on the last Friday of our last summer session. After we wish our last camper a “happy rest of the summer” we then go into super freaking (cleaning/organizing) and flipping camp with our summer staff of about 70 people! It is kind of a big place! Some equipment and supplies are put away until next summer; others are re-invented or adapted for a school year purpose. After we clean, we gather to commemorate the summer with a staff closing dinner, a slide show, a campfire and the unveiling of the newest touch board that will take its place among the others at the end of the evening. The VERY next day we welcome the first group of many to kick off our school year. It is a fast and furious physical transition of our space, our programming and us.
This transition of course isn’t new to us as each year we busy ourselves with the work needing to be done to create CYO Camp experiences for all of our participants and within this we are reminded of the gifts of all seasons as we leave one and enter the other. We reflect (quickly) on the passing season as we dive into the new one. We love summer; it brings warm weather, outdoor adventures and a celebration of people ages 5 up through college age. People who come to camp and fill the hills with songs, play, dance and prayer! Summer camp weeks last six days and the work day isn’t done at 5pm. This is an incredible, abundant energy that embodies so much of what CYO Camp offers. It is a beautiful time and when that time is over we often feel accomplished and ready to move on to the new people and programs of the school year which is also a beautiful time that has its own incredible energy. The school year season brings new schedules, hours of hosting and leading groups of all ages in faith, outdoor education, retreats, and challenge low and high. It is a welcoming of people of all ages to be a part of the mission of CYO Camp.
What a whirl wind our transition from summer to school year is and I can honestly say we wouldn’t trade it for the world! It sometimes gets messy in the middle, and it is hard and hot work but we accept it as a gift. Moving quickly from one time and space to another is important; our lists of to do’s and decisions to be made move us forward in providing the CYO Camp experience for all our people.
As Nancy Levin wrote, “Honor the space between no longer and not yet.” And we definitely honor it all.
Angi K Sullivan