A staff member remarked to me the other day that when he was a camper, he used to really take note of the “lasts”: “This is the last Monday of camp!” “This is the last dish crew I’ll be in” and so on. As staff, I think many of us note the last time things happen, although perhaps with less finality and sadness than the campers do. Still, summer camp lives in a magical time that is kind of its own thing — FMC no less than any other place — and we do notice when the time comes to think about emerging into the “real world.”
Tonight, then, was our final staff recital. Like our other staff recitals, it was amazing. At this point in camp, staff members have had time to rehearse together, so a lot of the pieces were collaborative ensemble works rather than solos. Many staff members really look forward to playing together in the summer, and since we have very low staff turnover, they usually can know the people they’ll be working with in advance. A camper told me today that staff recitals are inspiring and give campers a model of excellence to aspire to. The influence of our excellent staff is one of the really important parts of FMC.
The past few days have also given us longstanding FMC traditions. Sunday is a day to relax after the busyness of the Yellow Springs benefit concert, and for many years now campers have traveled to nearby Wheeling to enjoy a waterpark there. This year, despite the relatively cool weather, they were able to swim, play mini golf, ride paddle boats, and just hang out on a beautiful evening. When they returned to campus, they were surprised by having collection on the island with a campfire — which we finally were able to have after being rained out earlier in the month.
Last night was the camper-planned dance. Each year, the campers choose a theme, and while costumes are optional, many are quite creative. This year’s theme was “sci-fi/fantasy,” so we had several people dress up as the TARDIS (from Doctor Who, of course) along with other clever ideas. Costumes not entirely on theme are also welcomed, as we saw this year a large group of campers dress up as former boys’ dorm counselor Tyler. (I’m still not sure why…but they were a big hit.) Campers enjoyed dancing on the lawn as the sun went down.
Now we are on to a series of events that wrap up our time here — the musical dress rehearsal and performances as well as the final set of recitals and concerts. We will be doing a lot of hard work in the next few days to prepare for all of our performing this weekend!