Thank you for an amazing summer
Each year in June as we arrive back to camp and settle into orientation, we are always amazed by the passage of time-asking ourselves-have we really ever left? Where did the year go? Even when often surrounded by many bright new staff faces, time stands still at camp and we wonder how we feel a bit more weary and drained after a whole year that we can barely even remember anymore. And so it begins…training and prepping the staff and the camp for the roller coaster ride we are all about to embark on in just a few more days when the buses pull up. We try to warn the counselors, we try to prepare them for the love they will feel for these children and for their broken hearts when they leave them 7 weeks later. But nothing can prepare a counselor for this experience. Nothing but having lived through it. Each summer we have new hopes and dreams and new goals and revisions, new programs, new events, new buildings and new fields…each prepared to make each summer even better than the last. And then we see it play out right before our eyes-new campers who start out teary and fearful, the raw beginnings of friendships that start to take shape, old friendships and bonds growing even deeper each day, campers learning to trust their counselors and counselors learning to trust their intuition as they protect their young. The magic begins to take shape each day and then each week. We support them and teach them through each and every bump, hoping to help them learn they have the strength to endure any discomfort and the power to change what they want to. Life skills of resilience and the give and take of true friendships, cooperation and teamwork, in addition to the life skills taught on the courts and fields, on the climbing wall, on the lake, and on the stage. Girls learn to challenge themselves, to conquer their fears or lifelong goals, to relish in a moment where their friends and peers will cheer them on when they try something new and jump on them when they accomplish it. And we breathe, finally, sometimes even after Grandparent’s Day, when many of the scared parents at home finally let go and when many new or anxious campers finally hit their zone. We smile proudly as our girls thrive and their confidence takes shape. We relish in their earned swagger and stride and in their newfound independence and we remind ourselves that girls are being empowered here and lives are being changed. What happens here isn’t only fun, it’s invaluable. And, finally, we cry when it is over. We cry because of the magic that happened here. We cry remembering when it felt like yesterday that a new camper was afraid to fall asleep and now that camper is begging her counselor not to make her go home, clinging onto her on departure day. We cry for the pain the Romrec girls feel knowing they waited their whole lives to be in Romrec and now it is over as quickly as the years went waiting for it to arrive. We know the pain they feel as they cling to their childhood with every last breath and plead with us for just one more day. And we hold them all and tell them..we will always be here. Romaca is always here. And so, like a blink of an eye, but simultaneously through long, hot, often trying days of emotion, we look back on Summer 2016 and know real things happened this summer. Leaders rose, the quiet found a voice, the lonely found a friend, the fearful took a leap, the star shared the spotlight, the staff found their passion, and the girls found their childhood. We thank you for sending them to Romaca each and every summer and we appreciate your faith in us each year. We hope you are proud of your daughter.
Lauren and Debra