Towering Pines Blog

How can it be Week 6?!!

It’s always hard to believe when Week 6 rolls around at camp.  How did the past five weeks pass by so quickly?  Camp time is exponential.  What occurs in 6 weeks is like a year in real time.  So you may wonder how much could possibly happen in 6 weeks .  .  .  let me give you just a glimpse into camp life.

When the campers first arrive, there is definitely a honeymoon period  Old friends reconnect, some in a matter of minutes, and for others it may take a few hours or a few days.  For new campers, there is the adjustment of learning camp routines and procedures as well as acclimating to new surroundings.  For all campers there is a time of learning to embrace group living in a cabin with other boys and counselors.  So much to be learned from sharing space and meal time with other guys from various places who all have different personalities.

Once the initial adjustment phase passes, there’s the next period of time when campers are searching for their own comfort zones.  This is, of course, different for each person.  For some this might mean staying back in the shadows for a while and figuring out who they want to be while at camp.  For others, it might mean jumping into leadership roles or trying a plethora of new things.  The unique part of camp is that finding this comfort zone is a progression of sorts with fluidity.  Boys aren’t stuck in one role but can try on many hats to see what is a good fit for them. 

Once the comfort zone arena has been reached on a personal level, this is the time when the campers undoubtedly start to experience a different type of challenge.  They’re not only growing as individuals, but they are also growing as a group in a dynamic with many other voices and ideas.  Although conflict is often seen as negative, it’s natural, and camp is a wonderful environment in which to learn how to deal with it, how to overcome it and how to thrive within it.  

Ironically, today’s vesper theme was “forgiveness” which should go hand-in-hand with conflict. The campers shared that forgiveness is essential to camp life and without it there would be no peace.  Friendships would falter, and frustration and anger would prevail.  Camp provides a place where mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities.  Our camp community learns not only how to forgive others, but also to learn how to be forgiven. 

This last week of camp will be just as eventful as the prior 5 weeks.  There will be even more opportunities for these boys to find “time to shine in 1-9.”  This is the week that campers often take that last leap of faith to try something new, extend themselves beyond their comfort zones and savor the spectacular moments of adventure that camp provides.  Campers, counselors and staff have grown into a tight knit community that supports one another in our attempts, in our failures and our successes.  Many of us will breathe in each moment of this week knowing that we will send these boys off into the world to share what they have learned.  And, in turn, I believe, the world will truly be a better place.  

Angie Wenzl Ziller

  • Mom at TP
  • Leadership Staff at TP/Office Manager
  • Marketing TP/Woodland
  • Assistant Waterfront Director at Woodland
  • Counselor at Woodland
  • “This is goodnight and not goodbye.”