"Camp is over."
With those words, 60-odd staffers and campers dispersed themselves from a little mountain idyll and returned to their lives in the "real" world.
I shan't recount for you the day-by-day experience that was camp. For each person the experience was unique and, no doubt, your own camper has already given you their own version of the play-by-play. Looking at it from my perspective, I had anticipated a week of fun activities, learning new skills, camaraderie, a lot of dirt, a bit of rough living, camp food and a sense of freedom from the everyday world you can't get at home - in short, I anticipated an experience not dissimilar to summer camp when I was a boy.
I believe (hope) that our campers experienced and enjoyed all that. I know I did.
What I didn't anticipate was, as a member of the staff, was what a remarkably rewarding experience working with your campers turned out to be. As a parent of two children I'm quite proud of, I'm used to seeing their growth, but it happens at that strange glacial but also frighteningly fast pace that children grow at.
At camp, I witnessed your children grow in unexpected ways -- in a single week!
I simply can't describe how rewarding that experience was.
I can say that it made every bit of the hard work, planning, asking for donations, negotiating contracts, recruiting, massive amounts of time and even the pain of learning from mistakes we made along the way worth it.
As you can perhaps imagine, as camp approached the board and staff's "spare" time became increasingly monopolized by the last minute preparations for camp until finally every free minute was being put into camp. Now that camp is over, we're "decompressing" a bit. Those hard, sharp deadlines have been replaced with soft, ambiguous targets and a need to back away a bit.