By Sean Carlin, Machon Assistant Unit Head
Ah-hah moment (n.)- A moment in time when one has an astonishing realization due to something that is seen, heard, or experienced.
Part of my job as one of the CIT assistant unit heads is to train and prepare the CITs to return to Camp Harlam to be successful staff members. We write and run programs to teach skills. We assign the CITs to bunks and specialty areas so they can take what they learn in programming and apply it to real life situations. But in that moment in the Chadar Ochel I realized that all of the things I have to offer do not even come close to what I saw that day during lunch. I saw camp happening. The essence of camp was taking place right before my eyes and it had nothing to do with me, any other counselor, supervisor, or professional staff member. It had to do with what camp stands for. That day at lunch I witnessed the most beautiful thing that camp has to offer. Camp allows us all to be kids. It is a place where, grown men and women can feel comfortable to do things that in “the real world” would seem childish and juvenile; like singing Disney songs while eating lunch.
A slogan that is found on a multitude of T-shirts here is “Think Camp.” On this day, this slogan was given a new meaning for me. Thinking Camp does not just mean thinking about camp. To Think Camp, you are putting yourself in a certain mindset. That mindset is one of community, fun and friendship. To Think Camp you are breaking through any barrier set up between social norms and allowing yourself to experience something greater than anything in the world. This mindset is what keeps me coming back every summer. It is also something that has made Thinking Camp a life goal of mine. When I Think Camp my mind is clear of anything that will keep me from showing my campers and myself the best summer of our lives. And now, in my fourth summer on staff, one ah-hah moment has put everything into perspective. One moment of joyous, unplanned, childish singing showed me, once again, how amazing camp is.
Appreciate the small things, because that is what makes camp great. Let your mind accept the moments that make you smile and go, “Ah-hah! So that’s why I’m here! That’s why I love this place.” Think camp. Be a kid. And have fun. Why would I ever leave this place? Oh, ah-hah! I won’t.