This past Sunday we hosted our annual Baurecrest Training Camp, which brought 24 prospective campers to the Hillside. It was just awesome to watch these boys taking it all in. My favorite part was when, after lunch, they all went back to their bunk for rest period and immediately jumped into their beds. Make no mistake about it… not one of them had any intention of sleeping, or even resting. They just didn’t want to delay the part that makes the overnight camp experience so unique and exciting and scary all at the same time: getting to sleep in a bunk with a bunch of crazy boys!
Before my oldest son came to Bauercrest, he hadn’t done a single sleepover at a friend’s house. On the few occasions when he’d agreed to even attempt it, we’d inevitably get “the call.” After his first summer at camp, he still didn’t jump at the chance to sleep out. I finally asked him how on earth he’d managed to spend two weeks with a bunch of kids he barely knew, an hour away from home, and yet he still wouldn’t sleep at our closest friends’ house down the street. He explained (in 8 1/2-year-old terms, so I’m paraphrasing here) that at camp, everyone’s on an equal playing field. They all have home court advantage. Even though it typically doesn’t affect each one exactly the same way at exactly at the same time, they’re all going through it together. And they learn to take care of each other. This is without question what I love most about camp. And although it’s a very condensed version of it, this amazing display of brotherhood is wildly apparent throughout the 24 hours of Training Camp.
Many of these boys arrived Sunday morning not knowing each other, or anyone else at camp. They already had that in common. Together they navigated their way through the fields, the courts, the pool, the waterfront, the Mess Hall, and the bunks. Within a few hours, you’d never know they weren’t actual enrolled campers. Those little legs even got used to the hill! It’s so amazing to witness all of these connections happening right before your eyes… connections with each other, with our current campers, with counselors and staff, and with Bauercrest itself. They made themselves right at home. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Attached is a little recap of the events of the day. We really hope to see all these boys back on the Hillside soon!