July 27, 2020 – TLC Times

By July 27, 2020 TLC Times

At the start of quarantine, I wanted to compose a list of the books that I was reading during this unexpected time. I am coming around to the realization that the title of the document might have to change from ‘The Quarantine List’ to ‘The 2020 List.’ But alas, that’s for another blog post…

I wanted to share a quick anecdote about a book that I read that struck me in profound ways. In my role as a fourth grade teacher, I love to pick up the latest titles in middle grade literature. I recently picked up a story about a group of kids stranded together on a remote island. They have been instructed to spend their days on the island until they feel that they are ‘ready’ to return on the magical boat. The island is teeming with beautiful wildlife, vast green hills, and a roaring campfire each night. (Are you beginning to catch my connection?) The central protagonist has to navigate this newfound experience and different relationships, all while grappling with this idea of ‘readiness’ to return home. In fact, she spends much of the book doubting whether or not she’ll ever be ready. Yet to the reader, it is ever so clear that this time on her own has given her every possible skill that she might need when she returns. Through the experiences of her life on the island (dare I say her bubble?), and surrounded by the friends who have become her family, she recognizes that she’s been developing and honing the tools to take her back home all along.

If my subtle hints within the parenthesis didn’t tip you off, the camp connections are palpable. In any other summer, this would have been our Visiting Day weekend. You would’ve opened your arms wide, wiping the tears from your face as your freshly suntanned daughter ran to you in greeting. You would have done the initial ‘check’ for signs of brushed teeth and hair. Yet most importantly, you would be guided into the world that your daughter has curated for herself in the short span of four weeks. Time and time again, the feedback that resonates most with us after those visiting weekends is the visible change you see in your daughter. How, in a small stretch of time, does she seem different? It’s called self-reliance. It’s called independence. It’s called resilience. Tripp Lake Camp allows your daughter to thrive in these elements and become a stronger and more capable woman as a result. While there are always going to be caring adults along to guide her way, she has proven just as ready for the experiences both of her present and future.