With each summer that passes, my last group of campers, the Jesters of 2011, make their way through the ranks of girls’ camp. These girls were my first junior camp group in a while and happily cheered me on through my captain summer. Truth be told, there are certain perks of working with junior campers: endless energy and enthusiasm, unpredictable teeth-brushing habits, and the fact that when you return to The Realm, there will be a solid contingent of campers who still remember you. Part of the reason I return to The Realm each summer is to see these girls and hear about all the things at camp that have changed, and more importantly, all those that have stayed the same.
This year, these girls are Shires. It’s been five years since they were my campers, and while I’m pleased to report that they are now, mostly, brushing their teeth, not too much else has changed. This fantastic group of campers approaches each activity with the same enthusiasm and joy that they exuded as ten and eleven year olds. They laugh their way through cracker eating, show tremendous sportsmanship in their athletic events, and walk through girls’ camp hand in hand, no matter what color their t-shirts may be.
That is one of the great parts of Green and White. No one has to explicitly instruct these girls to look out for the younger campers during staff events, or to put their heart into each activity; they’ve watched those that came before them, and are carrying on the traditions almost innately. Although these girls have grown up tremendously in the last five years, and gained some fantastic new bunk mates, they still cherish the traditions of Green and White. Looking around The Realm, it’s comforting to see the younger campers watching their lead, and knowing that when I return for Green and White in 2020, the traditions will still be going strong.
Sweet dreams from The Realm,