Hineini. And Where is That?
By Meg Batavia, Specialist and Counselor In Training Supervisor and Kitchen Supervisor
Here I am. You are always right where you are. And we frequently change where we are, emotionally, physically, spiritually – you name it.
When we all come up to Camp – campers, summer staff, year-round staff alike – we are all at a new place in our journeys. A new starting point or version of “here” in the “Here I am.” Last year may have drastically changed us, challenged us, or not at all. We may need more love this summer or more alone time. Maybe certain foods aren’t nourishing us anymore or our interests have changed. And even if we have been to Camp for a bajillion years and everyone knows us, at the beginning of each summer, we are fresh, and we are here.
But see, even throughout the summer, in every moment, we are new beings. Our needs and wants can change rapidly. One of the beautiful parts of Camp is the frequency at which we check in: staff check-in with their campers, each other, directors, visitors, anyone! This is how we learn where we all are, today – in the ever moving “here.” We meet each other, exactly where we are. How are you? How is Camp going? How can we make it even better?
And then, we adapt for one another. Wherever anyone is, is perfect. We change the loads for each person when backpacking, we offer foods that will support everyone, we ask the campers themselves what activities they want to do and make schedules tailored to each bunk!
This instinct radiates from campers to staff, making sure that staff are in the right roles at Camp so that they can serve Tawonga and live their authentic lives at the same time. This is my 5th summer working for Camp Tawonga, and each summer I have different roles: kitchen, programming, SCIT leader, etc… Each summer I am in a different place, in my heart, body and mind. The “here” is always changing.
I want to offer a word of gratitude to Camp, for allowing me to arrive each summer, different. Thank you for allowing me to grow within our aruv (sacred community) and for meeting me where I am so that I can thrive.
Here we all are. And where is that? How can each person’s “here” come to Camp and fit perfectly? That’s what we do. Thanks for being here.