A small boy was listening to his grandfather tell of his exploits in the war. ‘I fought in Africa, Italy and Germany. I fought with Montgomery, I fought with Wavell and I fought with Eisenhower.’ The little boy looked puzzled and said to his grandfather; ‘Could you not get along with anyone, Grandad?’
And that’s the beauty of small boys – indeed, small children; the innocence and simplicity of some of their observations and comments. They don’t always understand what exactly is going on around them, and yet they have the ability to stop us adults in our tracks and make us think about what we have said, and how what we say can be misunderstood sometimes. We have to be clear in our instructions and even clearer in our admonishment (should the need arise). Only that way can good, clear leadership and trust occur. In that respect we have got off to a great start in the 2017 summer season here at CM. Everyone seems to understand what is happening and what is expected of them. That was evident this evening in Wasserman Hall when, instead of the planned real camp fire that Mother Nature put a stop to, we finished the day with, ‘What Made My Day.’ This is an opportunity for anyone to come on stage and explain to the group what it was that made their day. It is interesting to note that it is often the younger boys who like to come up and tell us about their home runs, and the fish they caught, or the friends they have made and the fun they have had. It is reassuring, indeed, to hear all this. It makes me think that we are doing something right.
And what did we do today? Well we started with the Big Ten before the rain came and spoilt the first part of the afternoon. We punted and made for the mess hall where we played Name that Tune, by which time it was dry enough to get out for a General. General is a time when we let the boys do what they like (within reason). All the counsellors are out at their respective activities ready to instruct and/or play, as the boys wish. We ask and encourage the boys to be outside the cabin, but apart from that simple and reasonable stipulation, they can do as they want. They could, for example, take the chess set outside, or maybe relax with a book (I really encourage reading). The waterfront is always popular, even on a cool day like today.
After dinner we did some Big Brother, Little Brother games. This is where we pair the older boys up with some of the younger ones. This might be the best way we know of to forge new friendships and meet new people. And they had fun doing it, so it was worth the effort.
By the time Taps blew at 9.45 the sky was clear and the temperature had dropped to almost perfect conditions for sleeping. Star gazing time, too. If you’ve never seen the stars up here on a dark night then that is something you ought to do. For those urban dwellers amongst us, this is not something we often see. We might have to break out the telescopes and head for the golf course one night. What an education.
Anyway, the day is done (I am done), and all is well, so safely rest.