Sometimes, it all comes together.
I'm constantly wrestling with the best way to describe summer camp to people. Depending on who's asking, and in what context, my answer will change. But there is one exception. College students applying to serve on summer staff get the same analogy every time: "It's like running Saturday Night Live for 24 hours a day, and the only commercial break is when you're asleep... but the commercial break could always end earlier than you expect."
I'm a big fan of Saturday Night Live, and I have been since I was young. As a kid, I certainly didn't grasp all the jokes, but I could tell when a skit was good or bad. I'll even be the first to admit that an episode with more good sketches than bad is rare. But I watched then and I watch now because I can tell when it all comes together: the actors, the writing, the set, the camera work, all of it. It's magic. There are so many moving parts that have to coordinate and hit at the exact right moment for the material to work perfectly. And I know it's that exact feeling that the actors, producers, and crew of the show chase every Saturday night.
That's the closest analogy I have to summer camp. Sometimes activities that we design don't go well. Sometimes it rains at Home in the Woods. Sometimes the Dining Hall staff burn the biscuits. Things go "wrong" all the time. But sometimes, you let a group of 12-year-olds put together a skit all by themselves, and it's the funniest thing I've seen in months. Sometimes- without any prompting- you hear middle school boys stop the tough guy act and talk a cabinmate through their fear on the Leap of Faith. And sometimes, if you're really lucky, you get to watch a group of 90 kids sing so loud that they drown out the worship leader at the closing campfire on Thursday night. And that's what we're always chasing. Because sometimes, it all comes together.
-Ryan "Flash" Moore, Director