Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are our own.
By: Jamie Flesher
Day Camp in the Park Week 1 – Be You, Be True, Be Kind
My family counts down all year for this week, the beginning of another summer at Day Camp in the Park. Week 1 began with happy campers arriving on their scheduled bus routes, friends reuniting and squealing with joy, counselors saying hello to their campers of years past (oh how they have grown) and making their new campers feel right at home.
Friendship is what we can feel but it’s also a week for trying new things, finding one’s courage, and learning to lean on your camp family for love and support. Nothing epitomizes this camp theme more than (R’s) trip to the camp lake.
For reasons known to nobody, (R) is terrified of swimming in the lake. She is a Red Cross level 3 swimmer with no fear of the water and we know she can see her feet at the bottom of the lake cribs. It’s been a source of mystery and stress to our family for going on 4 years now. This year appeared to be no different. (R) began her day crying because she knew she had her instructional swim lesson in the lake that morning. (For the record, the lake is gorgeous).
She will perform death defying moves on a dance floor without a second thought, but no lake for this girl.
What happened on Day 3 of camp is something we will never forget. The camp director, senior counselor, swim instructor, and FULL TIME CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST all worked together to get (R) into the lake. A picture was sent to me of (R) sitting on the side of the lake with her group. Directly behind her was Leia Reynolds, a certified child psychologist and 27-year camp veteran herself. That’s right, an on-staff child psychologist is present through the entire camp season to help with issues just like (R)’s.
After watching from the docks for most of swim, (R) was able to get into the lake with her swim instructor holding onto her. No one from her group was bullying her, no one made her feel bad about herself, no one left her out. In fact, her entire bunk was cheering words of encouragement, telling her they knew she could do it, holding her hand to help her in, and clapping as loud as they could when she finally did it.
They were there for each other the way we want our kids to be. We will certainly forever be grateful to Day Camp in the Park for knowing that (R) needed help from Leia.
That was Wednesday.
On Friday, she was called onto the stage at the end of the day for a round of applause from the ENTIRE CAMP for getting into the lake all on her own, without crying, that morning. Though she was still more than happy to move onto gymnastics the next period…where she is a veteran tumbler and can return the favor by cheering on her bunk-mates that may be nervous to try this activity for the first time.
It feels good to have each other. It feels good to be you, be true, and be kind. Day Camp in the Park is a place where we know this can happen.
Week one of camp is over and already the kids have made more memories than I can count. I have seen so many smiles it makes my heart happy. It feels good to be in such a warm and caring environment. Day Camp in the Part, we are truly #bettertogether.