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Lunch Time Lessons

Lunch time is a crazy time at camp.

We are busy sorting the donated lunches into three categories: PBJ, Turkey, and other. At the same time, we are trying to allow only 3 to come get food while the rest of the line waits for their turn to come up. It's all hands on deck to make sure that everyone gets a lunch and then we all catch our breath. The rest of the day is pretty easy from there.

As the crazy died down and the volunteers and high schoolers came to get their lunches, I get pulled aside.

"I need to talk to you privately."

I thought for sure I was in some kind of trouble. The one who pulled me aside is a high schooler who has been around camp the last 4 years or so. She looked a little nervous which made me nervous and I waited to hear what she had to say.

"You scare me and I don't want to be scared of you."

I understood immediately. I have a clipboard and a lot of keys. I'm the one who makes the call to go inside when it rains or to change the schedule for a special event. I'm the one who says yes or no to field trip ideas and special events happening at camp. I'm the highest ranking person at camp and everyone knows it.

I'll be honest, I was really proud of her saying that to me. I'm not usually that brave. I asked her to join me for lunch in the garage across the street so we could get to know each other better. I let her ask me any questions she wanted. We covered my camp history. All of camp history. My family. How I met my husband. Everything. I didn't have to ask, she just went ahead and told me about her dreams to be a social worker or work in juvenile justice. It breaks her heart to see people, especially kids, making the wrong choices and she wants to do her part in understanding why poor choices are made and what can be done to prevent it. That's why she chooses to work with Character Education at camp even though it is one of the hardest roles.

Before we both knew it an hour and a half had slipped by and it was time to get ready to go home. I asked her if I was still scary.

"Only a little. You still have a lot of keys."

We plan on continuing our lunch sessions to talk about life and passions and why the world is the way it is. It was such a treat to get to know her better and see how camp is fitting into the big picture of her life. I so admire her bravery in being open and honest with me. I love that camp creates a space for people to become all they were created to be and provides opportunities for everyone involved (staff, high schoolers, volunteers, and campers) to learn and grow.

What a great place to spend the summer.

Emily HutchinsComment