On Tuesday, the 11th, 108 campers attended Camp Greenwood.
It would be easy to say “Wow! That is a lot of kids,” and then go about your day. And you wouldn’t be wrong, that is a lot of kids. But this number, albeit large, fails to adequately embody the 108 souls that it represents.
This three digit number is meant to encompass 108 people; one with a scraped left knee from that one day on the playground when he fell off the slide. Another with blisters on her toes from practicing that flip in the pool until she did it perfectly.
108 different smiles—with wide gaps where wiggly teeth laid until eager fingers placed them beneath a pillow, each child awaiting the glint of a coin the next morning.
108 different outfits—some are flashy, fluorescent, and forward. Others simple, striped, and sweet.
108 different haircuts, mindsets, talents.
108 different worries, nightmares, and dreams.
108 different endings to the statement, “When I grow up, I want to be…”
108 different stories, all yet to be written.
108 different futures waiting to be fulfilled.
We, as counselors, look after dozens of campers each day. Sure, there are times when their faces seem to merge together. Moments when individual giggles blend to form one collective chorus of laughter.
But every now and then, a little red grouper looks up at you with beaming wide eyes and a crooked smile, or a blue grouper trips over his words as he excitedly tells you about that new science fact he learned, or the quiet girl from yellow group who, with watery eyes, so tightly squeezed her mother’s hands that morning, begging her not to leave, lets out a squeal and says “this is the best day ever.”
And it is in these moments that we pause, glance around, and notice the 108 unique, pure, irreplaceable human beings that surround us, no two children the same.
So yes…on Tuesday, 108 little pairs of feet scurried their way into Camp Greenwood. But, in reality, these four walls contained more energy, history, and life than one number could ever encompass.