A Coronation Password by Lady Clink
2019 Coronation Password – Fearless
Lady Susan “Clink” Clinkenbeard
What does it mean to be fearless? How would you live your life if you could live it without fear?
Maybe you have seen the statue of the little girl on Wall Street. She stands opposite the snorting bull, a statue that represents all the worldly powers of money and industry. She stands with her hands on her hips and her head held high, unfazed and unimpressed by the roar of the crowd, the speed of the traffic, the height of the buildings. She stands there with a defiant, sassy posture, feeling the full weight of her tiny self, turning the inhospitable conditions of concrete and asphalt into her own stage and playground. Could you be that kind of girl? Perhaps you already are. When I was a girl, there were parts of myself that were like that girl, and many that were not. My spirit was fearless and free, but sometimes life was intimidating and made me feel unsure of myself. Coming to camp helped me connect with my spirit and my imagination.
We have superheroes that are fearless. They leap tall buildings in a single bound, or crawl down the sides of huge skyscrapers like spiders. They each have some superpower that they can rely on to give them an advantage, so that they can respond to danger. We love watching them because these shows are fun and adventurous, but also because we wish we could be like them – strong, capable, instantly responding to challenge without fear.
One thing we don’t see on the surface is that fearlessness takes practice. We don’t get to see Baby Superman working on the short buildings, or Spiderboy getting tangled in the bushes in his backyard. Usually it takes practice to learn new skills and master them, and that’s one of the great things about camp. Look at how our activities at camp have levels and awards. That is so you can build up your skills, master them, gain in ability and responsibility, and move up to the next level. It takes practice and persistence to be fearless. But camp is a safe, fun place where you can try out new things, where it’s okay to be a beginner because everyone was a beginner once. You can move up as you gain in skill and confidence, until looking back at the first-day thing that was scary, that first jump in the lake for your swim test, doesn’t seem scary at all.
Another way that superheroes are fearless is that they have friends. Sometimes we have this picture of the lone hero battling the forces of evil all on her own; but if you look again, you see that it isn’t true. Recently in the movies, superheroes have banded together to make invincible teams, but even back in the days before the Avengers, Batman had Robin, and Superman had friends who gave him the support he needed to get the job done. Nobody does this alone. At camp, when we work together on squads or in activities, or as teams putting on a play or putting up a tent, learning the parts to a song or folding a flag, we are getting to know each other. We build a bond of trust that strengthens as we learn how to live together. That sense of trust can be the help you need to be fearless when you come up against your own limitations. The support we get from each other is a kind of muscle we use and train that grows over the summer, and from year to year.
When you need to call up your courage to take that jump in the lake, you can be fearless. When you find a tick or get hurt, you can be fearless. When you have the thought, “but I’ve never done that before,” or the thought, “the last time I tried this, I failed,” you can be fearless. When somebody tries to tell you that you can’t do it, you can be fearless.
The most important way we can be fearless is to be fearless in love. That is our real superpower as humans. What does that look like? Loving what you love no matter what anyone else thinks. Maybe it means being loyal to that difficult or quirky person just because you like them. Maybe it’s when you love camp so much that when you get home, you try to explain it to outsiders and they don’t get it – it doesn’t matter.
I like to think of Fleur de Lis as my superpower. The experiences I had here fire my memory and my imagination. At times in my life when things were difficult or I was unsure, I remembered how it felt to be at camp with friends who accepted me, and it made me feel strong. My hope for each of you is that you have a summer full of adventures and new experiences that allow you to find out how good you are, how brave you are, how kind you are, and how much you can love. I hope camp allows you to connect with your beautiful, passionate, fearless selves, together.
The password for today is Fearless.