Recently had the incredible privilege and good fortune to be the only dude in a camp for girls and young women.  For a week and a half I was there to help (well, watch) wife orchestrate a ceramic mural commemorating the camp’s centennial.

  The name of the camp is a Native American word which translates as the imperative “awake”.  Perfect.  Separated from all electronic devices for seven weeks and immersed in nature, the arts (studio and performing), and each other the campers must indeed emerge anew.

  I greatly enjoyed watching and listening to what only could be described as reveille to taps ebullience.  And very happily benefited by this most positive manifestation of emotional contagion.  I felt my psyche reconstellate as neuroses disappeared.  No foolin’.

  Every meal time is characterized by singing.  Songs in thanks, songs for dropping stuff, birthdays, introductions, goodbyes, everything.  I sort of felt like I was missing a gear.  Anyway, one evening after the meal was over, table cleared, and awaiting dessert, I was the only one who’d not retained a fork.

  I asked the sweet young thing next to me what was up.  She looked at me with something between mirth and pity and said “dessert”.  I then asked how all but I knew that it was going to be something for which one needed a utensil. 

  “Mr. Budge, we sang the song!”

  Sung to the tune of Frere Jacques: 

Save your forks
Save your forks
For dessert
For dessert
If they’re dirty lick them
If they’re dirty lick them
Save your forks
Save your forks 

  It was a slap in the side of the head for which I’m grateful.

  I was sad to leave though knew that I was at least as much of a distraction as would have been cell phones, computers, Ipods etc.  Now back behind my desk at my office I understand how the similar experiences of wife and daughters leavened their lives and enhanced their sense of self.*  Needy they’re not.

*cf  Lucifer 7/30/10 

**Couldn’t help but recall that Buddha means “Awakened One”.


6 Responses to “Awake”

  1. CHarlotte Says:

    Hi MR Budge! I go to camp at onaway and I love your pictures I hope you come and visit next yeat

    • bgierke Says:

      Charlotte – You just made Valentine’s Day for me!! Even though you know that I have a pretty sweet one right here waiting to go to dinner with me tonight. And we hope so too – What a great place!

  2. Wilder Says:

    Hi! I’m Wilder, I am going to Camp Onaway this year, and it will be my first year!!! I will be a Birch. I can’t wait!!!!!!

  3. Carter Says:

    I also go to camp and I am very glad that you had a good time. You have realized in a short time everything that we work towards all year. Thank you.

    • bgierke Says:

      Hi Carter – Thanks so much for your comment! I did love my time at the place. We’d hoped to be able to visit this year, but sadly that was not to be. Maybe next year!

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