Just the other day, we officially closed down Kidventure for the summer. The last of the Safari Overnight Camp buses rolled into town from Hunt, Texas. There were lots of tears and hugs from campers as everyone said their goodbyes. One of the moms came up to me and exclaimed, “My son never hugs, and here he is hugging everyone as if they were family”. “Well”, I responded, “We kind of are now”.
I will be the first to tell you that the ending of the camp season is a delightful experience. It is undoubtedly one gigantic exhale for me personally as the responsibility of 7000 kids over the course of ten weeks is lifted triumphantly from my shoulders. The coordination of over 170 tour buses, 300 staff and 10,000 hours of curriculum and camp events does take its toll. Yet with all the work and worrying that I experience over the course of the camp season, nothing is more satisfying and wonderful than contributing to the lives of so many kids and being a part of so many families.
I believe more than ever, that to be an effective and purposeful parent, we must organize our kids lives around others that believe in strong character building and demonstrate care and concern for people. The more our kids are put in positive environments like that, the more they grow to view their world in a positive and meaningful way. At the end of the camp day, that is what we strive to accomplish and I love it.
We will soon begin the process of constructing the next summer camp season and setting into motion this opportunity we call Kidventure. Until then, I might sleep a little longer, leave the office a little early and certainly recall all the fun and good times the Summer of 2011 gave us.