Wednesday, August 20, 2014

the look, style - no, culture - of being a counselor

Last night one of the challenges at the Susky-Forest Challenge Night was this: "Send up one camper from each team who might pass as a counselor." The young guy in the photo below won't pass because he looks old enough. No, that's not the point of this challenge when it's for Susky and Forest. But the judges and I noted - not just in this boy's case but for all the contestants - that the campers here at FV just know what a counselor looks like, what they say and how they say what they say. "Style" isn't quite the word. Nor "mode." It's a counselor's way of being, I suppose, as expressed in how they look, the accessories they carry around (coffee cup, backpack, Crazy Creek dangling from the pack, water bottle) and a way of standing--an exhausted yet vibrant look (a paradox, I know). That the kids here get it - many of them - creates a heartfulness, a sense that some of them, many of them indeed, will come of age here and stay on for years, passing it on that exhausted persistent vivacity. I'm not overstating this. It's true. It's a look that tells a whole story of generations. Maybe the best phrase is: a culture. May it live long.