Kids Active in the Snow and Rain at YMCA

At Camp Chief Hector YMCA today, I heard a student say, “When it rains, that’s when I go outside to play.” Kids love to be active, and they love adventure. It is not always easy, and it is not always an adult’s first choice, to explore outside in stormy weather. With the right kind of leadership, however, amazing things happen outside. We adults can help kids act on their healthy instincts.

This week at Camp Chief Hector YMCA, hundreds of students have been hiking, canoeing and playing – all in the falling rain and sleet. Right now, the whole great team of them are in the lodge, in front of a warm fireplace, singing in harmony. They’ve had a warm breakfast, and they’ve had an active and outdoor week – rain and shine, sleet and snow. They’re as content and as satisfied as can be. I think they will sleep well tonight!

The wonderful thing about the scene in front of me is how long kids have been active outside at camp. The relationships being made right now, in a lodge in the wet and snowy forest, are very much like the action stories kids have been making of their lives forever – whenever adults empower them to do so. An alumni of camp wrote to me about just such an experience he had, hiking and canoeing in the rain with students, twenty-five years ago.

He writes, “I can still remember that trip over twenty-five years later. For me, it wasn’t the weather. It was the kids wanting to live every minute of camp, and not miss a thing, regardless of the elements. It was the look of accomplishment on their faces that is forever in my mind. The pure joy that comes with doing something that you have always wanted to do. The weather probably made it more of a triumph for the kids. That fact that they did what they wanted despite the weather. That to me is camp, is Camp Chief Hector YMCA – is what being a kid is all about.”

The students will go home this afternoon, the elk will re-claim the meadows for two days, and on Monday several hundred new students will come to camp to make another round of action stories and to build new relationships.

When it is sleeting and raining, that’s when kids can get outside and have a great time!