With a little camp confidence and a tractor, you can do anything.
As can happen when you live where I live, yesterday I drove past a man driving a rather large tractor through the round-about in my small Vermont town. As I passed him and the growing line behind him that was clearly getting agitated, I was struck with the very specific type of confidence it takes to drive such a vehicle on a public road. Keep in mind that this was an open tractor so all of the other members of the road who were less than thrilled to be waiting behind this man could see him and he them. Even with that vulnerable position and great distraction, he could not be deterred from his day’s mission.
I think that the reason that this situation, which I have encountered so many times before, struck me was that the confidence that this man was displaying seemed to be of the same strain that camp breeds. Given a mission, we will not be deterred, regardless of how inconvenient or crazy it may be. Add onto that mission a probability for what other people would consider embarrassment, even better. I have stopped traffic on a county highway so that a group of campers could cross more than once. I have also done it with both a pair of boy’s underwear and an electric blue wig on my head. I have seen any number of solo Air Bands and Talent Show performances that brought down the house due to shear confidence, including an absolutely incredible rendition of the YMCA this summer. Costumes are worn without further thought, skits are created on a moment’s notice and without cause, and Capture the Flag is embraced with an intensity that borders on the ridiculous.
It is a surety of self that comes from having or wanting to do something and knowing that those around you are going to either support you or in the case of the tractor, simply stay out of your way. So while I am not advocating driving a tractor in public without a good reason, I am encouraging all of you to make sure that you keep the confidence that camp breeds as part of your year-round life. Embrace every task with the surety of that you got up on stage in the Barn during Air Bands with or that you choice your Wizard of Oz costume with for CT dinner because camp may be done for the year but camp people are always there to support you in any endeavor.