Towering Pines Blog

Deviating from the Expected

Posted by on July 7, 2021

The value of routine is something that camp always impresses upon us. The reason we have schedules and activities is that these things give us some stability, a framework, to build our experiences and skills around. We need to have that structure as a reference from which to venture out. Once the foundation is in place, campers are more open to challenging themselves with something new or different. It is this disparity that brings all the growth to light.

We have many routines (cabin clean-up, assembly, meals, rest period, canteen, bedtime, etc.), here at camp. These routines become traditions in themselves that campers can rely on day after day, week after week. But as important as routines are (even with this summer starting out differently than in previous years), it is also important to deviate from the expected when the time is right. We like to switch things up, every now and again. This past weekend we did just that!

Fireworks over Nokomis

Pirate Day and the 4th of July campfire are two great examples of how just a little change in the routine can bring around lots of opportunities for enlightenment. Typically, these events are not held on the same weekend, but due to the 4th being on a Sunday (and 100% negative test results), we had 2 days of straying from the norm of the first week’s cabin cohort schedule.

Pirate Day is a popular event as it is a different experience from the daily routine altogether. Campers enjoyed a treasure hunt in the morning and then divided into red vs. blue teams for piratical games such as darts, trolley walk, water balloon toss and the cannon shoot in the afternoon. Both sides showed courage and determination, so it was an all-around impressive performance by all of the fearless warriors. (The red team won in case you were wondering!) Between the heat and the cannon smoke, the boys were happy to walk the plank into Lake Nokomis for free-swim afterwards.

We had our 4th of July celebration in the company of the girls from Woodland. Both camps get excited about this opportunity to see some different traditions and different faces, lit up by the stark contrast of fireworks and campfire. This is the one day of the year when both camps get to experience the songs, skits, traditions, and company of the other; and as you might guess, things get creative (which is not stepping off the beaten path at TP!).

We treasure our routines here at camp, but deviating from the expected every so often is part of what makes the routine so valuable. We’ve traversed our way through the excitement and adjustment of starting another camp season. Ten days or more into the summer and there is some perspective gained. We can now look back from where we came and anticipate what fun and adventures the days ahead will bring.

The sun is definitely out in 2021, and we are now settling into the routine of 6 periods of individual activity choice for week #2. Until the next time we explore unchartered territory…