Towering Pines Blog

Chicken Soup for the Camp Soul

You may be familiar with the series of books called “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”  There are a variety of different versions of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” with many unique and heartfelt stories.  Their vision is “Positive, Uplifting, Real — These are the stories we tell.”  As I sat at banquet at the end of camp this summer, I actually heard a spectacular story that could be called “Chicken Soup for the Camp Soul!”  It truly resonated with me, and it brought the Summer of 2022 full circle.  

Banquet is a Towering Pines tradition that acknowledges all of the accomplishments and accolades that the boys have experienced over the summer.  It’s a time to share memories created within our camp community which has truly become a family over these six weeks of time.  In addition, it’s an opportunity to celebrate both established and new friendships that have grown exponentially through time shared here at TP.  Many of these will continue to evolve across the miles, and hopefully, during future summers spent together at camp.

The counselors from each cabin toast to each camper as well as sharing special memories created over the summer.  They give insight into the unique dynamic of their cabin because each group of campers and counselors truly becomes an exceptional family within our larger camp community.  Pablo was a counselor in Cabin 8, Winnebago.  His toast and the very specific way he described his cabin and all of his campers impacted me to write this blog.  

Pablo said that his cabin reminded him of “chicken soup.”  This introduction definitely caught my attention!!  He went on to describe how a really good chicken soup is created by throwing different ingredients into a big pot and stirring it all up.  It isn’t the ingredients in isolation that make a delicious soup, but rather it’s the combination of these items that blend together to make it so amazing.  Each ingredient is important and brings its individual flavor to the soup, just like each camper is special and brings his unique personality to the cabin.  In addition, each boy also brings his very own gifts and talents to the cabin, and when properly “stirred” and nurtured, these create a stupendous soup of sorts! 

Furthermore, there are different activities and challenges that occur through a variety of adventures at camp.  These experiences all require different types of skills.  Sometimes, the group needs a strong leader, other times a respectful follower.  Some situations might require exceptional problem solvers who analyze each and every detail.  But then, they also need the child who can see the overall picture and assist in putting all of these pieces together to reach a common goal.  At times the cabin can benefit from someone who has a good sense of humor to lighten things up and encourage people to laugh.  Other times, they may need a quieter more reserved guy who can settle things down and bring some calm to a stressful situation. 

Again, it’s the combination of traits that each and every camper brings to the table that truly completes the cabin family and creates a “really good chicken soup for the camp soul.”  The transformation that takes place over six weeks of time in these beautiful Northwoods is very real and significant.  The mission of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” states that they are “ Changing your world one story at time.”   The EXTRAordinary experiences that these boys have at Towering Pines, and the life lessons that they learn while they’re here, they take with them wherever they go.  They too WILL change the world one story at a time!

*A special thank you to Pablo Carrera Quiroga for his insight and for inspiring the idea for this blog.

Angie Ziller

  • Camp Mom at TP
  • Leadership Staff at TP/Office Manager
  • Marketing TP/Woodland
  • Leadership Team TP/Woodland
  • Assistant Waterfront Director at Woodland
  • Counselor at Woodland
  • “Building in our hearts fond memories, Towering Pines for you.”

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