As Clearwater Daughters know, the time for announcements after meals in our dining room is our chance to share news, celebrate accomplishments, and get the latest on the day’s activities at camp. While nothing quite compares to the summer days we share in the northwoods, exciting things do actually happen all year-round in our lives! Our hope is to use our blog a bit like the time we have together in the dining room: to let us know just what’s happening within our community and to nurture “the bond that binds us.”
If you’re feeling inspired and have something you would like to share, we invite guests to contribute. Please feel free to email me: Liz@ClearwaterCamp.org to coordinate.
This latest entry comes from Danielle Vidinich Welch in honor of our Thanksgiving season.
“As I sit here the first snows of the season are slowly accumulating outside. The quick slip of time between Halloween and Christmas is upon us and I’ve noticed an extra effort to dig my heels into this season of thanks. (Remember that holiday between the costumes and the shopping?) Part of this effort has been returning to a ritual many Clearwater Daughters may have practiced with their cabins each night: sharing two things you were grateful for that particular day and one goal for the next.
As a counselor I remember this practice helped my campers focus on positive things as they headed to sleep – what a great way to combat homesickness! At home I realize this practice is becoming really effective at slowing our day down; days when I have to make sure I say, “I love you,” more than I say, “HURRY!” It’s also so funny how much we tend to broadcast these “gratefuls” on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but maybe not with our voice to the people right in front of us. Sharing these “gratefuls” with our cabin mates made them, dare I say, even more treasured and more celebrated amongst the five friends you spent your summer with than the 300 people with whom you might share a social media profile.
At first the “gratefuls” I heard here at home seemed so different than the “gratefuls” I remembered hearing at camp. As we move further into this month of Thanksgiving however and the evenings tick by, I’m seeing that the “Lions, popsicles, and brother,” my three year old is so grateful for are all plucked from the same pure stream as the things campers treasure. Even if you never had the all-cabin habit of sharing “gratefuls,” if you’ve experienced Clearwater Camp you’ve experienced the challenge of the wilderness, the demand of venturing into your own unknown, and the blessings that friends and simple creature comforts become. Your reference points are altered in the sweetest and most powerful ways. Who knew dry shoes could feel that great? Who knew that a shared song could power you across miles? Who knew a friend you spent three and a half weeks with could become your most treasured pal?
So as I sit here and think about what motivates this gratitude I have you, Clearwater, to thank. Not only did I learn this little positive practice of wrapping the day up on a good note, but I learned through challenge and the temporary sacrifices that come with treasured wilderness experiences, that something as grand as a lifelong friendship to as simple as dry shoes (or a popsicle) is something to be grateful for. Everyday.