I have often wondered about the differences between a resident summer camp and the opportunity afforded to the various boys clubs on our property. That was even the topic of conversation with kids from the Salesian Boys Club of Columbus, Ohio, one summer night.
I shared with them about a resident camp I attended as a counselor called Camp Mishawaka in Minnesota that cost kids over $7,000 to attend for eight weeks! Mike Myers expressed shock at that especially when I told him what the activities were. He related they could find the same things in Columbus for far less.
One of the boys noted that at resident camps you are fed but on our trips every boy takes some part in the preparation of a meal. “It always tastes better when you make it yourself“, said one of the kids with a laugh.
Our kids always enjoyed the various duties they were given at our property except for latrine duty. No one enjoyed that task! That was made quite known at that evenings campfire. However, when compared to the whole experience, the kids said even that was acceptable. Our wooded beachfront didn’t allow for soccer or tennis to be played. Instead the boys chopped wood for meals and campfires, cooked, cleaned out their tents daily, and participated in fishing, boating, and swimming. Hiking was done in our forest area about a half mile from camp.
The boys learned to work together for the common good of the camp and that was always the goal of each trip to our property. Boys that chose to ignore teamwork were not invited back on future trips. That evening there were lots of laughs and good fellowship around the campfire in retelling tales of how the boys viewed the chores and duties they were assigned. Not a bad topic for campfire that evening!