Friday, July 21, 2017

Things I learned at Camp

Oh, no.  Michael (name has been changed) is coming back to camp the next two weeks. 

Michael is one of those kids that is disruptive, disrespectful, and needy of attention.  He makes running camp activities more difficult and causes the counselors more work because they have to constantly monitor and address his behavior issues.  And there is always at least one of "those" kids in every camp session. 

I too was dismayed about Michael coming back to camp so many times this summer, but the funny thing is over time the kid has come to grow on me.  He is still a difficult child and everything I described in the second paragraph still holds true.  But he also has shown a side of sensitivity, humor and on occasion kindness. 

The first time I saw him as other than that "difficult kid" was when the campers noticed a spider in our camp room.  The counselor was called upon to take action, and when she started to move toward the spider Michael said, "Please don't kill it!".  And of course she scooped up the spider and released it outside. 

There's something about any child having empathy and concern for other living things, even spiders, that makes you see them as having good character and gives you hope for their futures. 

So although our campers are learning a lot about animals this summer, I'm reminded not to judge a child by their behavior.