Life lessons learned from great teachersJune 5, 2015
I was a guest at a very powerful event yesterday. My mother-in-law, a former Evergreen camper and counselor, was retiring after many years of teaching in the Newtown, CT Public Schools. About a hundred of her colleagues gathered for a dinner to honor her, and to celebrate her tremendous passion for teaching (specifically, teaching math).
What struck me was how much teaching children meant to every educator present. Never before had I had a chance to hear teachers talk amongst themselves about how powerful this profession is for them. In speech after speech, they spoke about how being educators gave their lives such meaning and purpose. For them, it was not about their students improving their standardized test scores, but rather, developing a love of learning and fostering true intellectual curiosity. The former principal of her school remarked that my mother-in-law and her peers shared a mission of “helping the whole child to develop intellectually, along with socially and emotionally”.
With the start of the summer approaching these words truly resonated for me, as they are totally in line with the mission of our overnight camp. They are also the outcomes most important to the leadership of Camps Kenwood and Evergreen. Without question, we want our campers to have tremendous fun and make some of the most important friendships of their young lives. We also want them to acquire new skills in team sports and the arts. But at our core, what we most want is for our campers to end a 7-week session saying I’m closer to figuring out how to be my best self. I’m a better athlete and have some amazing friends, but I’m also a more independent, resilient, and innovative person. I know myself better than ever before.
In just over a week our coaches, teachers and group leaders will be arriving for the start of a 2-week training program at our overnight camp in NH. This summer they will be teaching skills like swimming, film making and the proper way to make a foul shot, but they will also be important mentors and role models to our campers. During our opening session I will be sharing with them the inspiration that I drew from this event, and my hope that they find working with young people as inspiring and fulfilling as the entire Leadership team of Camps Kenwood and Evergreen does. It is certainly the passion of every director and head counselor here.
If you would like to learn more about our spectacular coaches and teachers I invite you to read some of our previous blogs: