Many years ago, the Teen campers at Circle of Tapawingo convinced me to ‘sleep under the stars’ with them on the last night of camp. It had been a hot, dry day and as far as I knew, there was no prediction of rain. We dragged out sleeping bags and flashlights and talked long past normal camper ‘lights out’. Even though I loved the conversation and camaraderie, I was the first to fall asleep. Apparently no one but me really planned to sleep outside; the forecast was for high wind and rain that night. I woke up in the middle of the night, alone, soaked and cold.
When I walked into the dining room the next morning, there was huge applause and truly raucous laughter. To this day, I treasure that prank and what it says about the camaraderie and trust we build at Circle.
So…why am I writing about this? Several of the campers who pranked me that night are now Circle counselors. College students majoring in Biology, Business, Child Development, Elementary Education, Engineering, Fashion Design, Finance & Law, International Affairs, Mathematics, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Psychology, Social Sciences, Social Work, and Women’s Studies; graduate students working toward their MSW, and Nurses, Community Service Advocates, Medical Technologists, and Teachers…
I have watched these counselors grow up and into themselves.
I am filled with pride and admiration for their personal and professional accomplishments.
I am riding for them and the invaluable gifts they are giving to current campers.
I am riding for them because they are the future of Circle.
I hope every single one of them is invited to sleep outside with their campers. And I hope it rains - hard!
Sandi Lando Welch
Founder, Executive Director,