The gang just got back from a rafting adventure in Jackson. Apparently the experience became hands on when the guide missed the dock and asked some of the boys to jump out to manually stop the craft. Shayde from the Lodge guide shop is currently showing an eager camper how to use the fly tying kit he bought with some of his award credit.
After taking some pictures and giving informal exit interviews, we gathered for our bittersweet last dinner of camp. Already some of the younger campers have hypothesized that they will return as peer mentors. It is great to see the legacy and expectation develop over the years. We really want to motivate positive behavior year round.
We had one final steak from Chef Bob. As we finished, Steve introduced the pinning ceremony, a yearly tradition in which we all recognize those who made a special impression on us during camp. This was an expressive and forthright group: they said significant, but not melodramatic things. I sensed that they were realistically reflecting the light of this camp on the rest of their lives. “You made me laugh,” “You made me feel valued,” “You remind me of my brother,” “You’re confident,” “I can’t believe you made this possible,” were just a few of the sentiments. We took a lot of pictures after the ceremony and gathered at the fire outside to give thanks. John Croyle led our last prayer, our hands all interlocked. Then someone threw a packet of magic fire in the pit, and we watched the blue flame emerge. I know the campers will remember the beautiful seeming anomaly of their time in Idaho and begin to feel like the next wonderful experience is even closer in reach.