The following post was written as a Shabbat reading during staff orientation by Nick Peacock-Smith, Crane Lake Camp Athletics Director. Nick is a third year staff member, originally from Australia and now living in New York City.
Over the course of the spring while I was working and living in the city every time I was thinking or telling people about the job I was going to be doing over the summer I found that I was saying the same line time after time, “I get to be up in the Berkshires working outdoors every day for 11 weeks in fantastic summer weather in shorts and a t-shirt”. Every day since I have been here I have had a moment where I have been so thankful that I have this opportunity to spend my summer here in the fantastic weather that we have had and will continue too for the next 8 weeks.
As Debby told us earlier this week, many of our campers lead such busy lives and come to camp to “catch their breath for 4 or 8 weeks”. Additionally there are campers who live their lives during the year so they can come back to Crane Lake each summer (living 10 months for 2). It sounds daunting that we will have 380 campers arriving in a few days that will challenge us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, I truly believe that we should be thankful as these campers will no doubt leave us all with a summer full of memories that none of us will ever forget.
Working…. Yes life as support staff, counselor, coach, senior staff or specialist can be exhausting and stressful at times, but, is it really that difficult to work in an environment where we can be play sports, swim, make music, sing and dance on a daily basis? Is it working when you have the opportunity to participate in an activity that you have never tried before? Is it working when you can paddle a kayak or make a tie dye t-shirt and encourage campers to do the same? I know for sure that I am thankful for this opportunity, who else is?
Crane Lake Camp is a place where campers and staff have come for many years to meet new people from all over the world, build friendships with people who live a few blocks away but would never have met. But beyond all campers and staff come to Crane Lake to be part of this community and share a bond that is unbreakable. This community is an inviting, warm and open community and no one else from anywhere in the world will share the experiences that we have already had and will have over the next 8 weeks. We can all be thankful for that!
I leave you all with this quote “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”