This summer our staff has focussed some of our reflections around four virtues – one for each session: Kindness (Classic 1), Hope (Classic 2), Humility (Classic 3), and now Generosity (Classic 4).
Kindness, Hope, Humility and Generosity are what David Brooks would call “eulogy” virtues, as opposed to “resume” virtues.
In other words, these are the kinds of things you might want someone to say about you after you’re gone, but they are easy to overlook.
As we approach the end of the summer, I find myself noticing these virtues at camp.
I noticed kindness today in a counselor who held the hand of a camper in cabin 1 as they went down the zipline together.
It was getting very close to supper, and He had every reason not to go down the zipline. But he saw that his camper wanted to try it, and the counselor saw that he was nervous.
That was genuine kindness, which is what we look for in a cabin 1 counselor.
I feel hope every day.
Anyone who worries about the future of “kids today” has never worked at camp. These young people are encouraging, brave, and really funny, and it gives you hope just to work with them.
I saw humility in two older campers today, listening to each other.
They’re from very different backgrounds, and despite never having been in the same cabin before, they know being in a cabin means — You look out for each other.
So, they sat there getting to know each other.
And I saw generosity last night from 41-year Rockmont veteran Guy McCall, who stayed late in the kitchen to wait for Summit Campers who were late from a mountain biking trip.
No doubt he had already worked a long day. I see countless acts of generosity from our kitchen staff, and it spreads around camp. Their generosity makes more generosity possible.
It was a great opening day, and the campers are healthy and well. And beautiful things are happening all around us for those who notice it!