Lessons from Alaska: singing, sunsets and platform tents

Alaska is amazing, in case you were wondering. There are mountains everywhere and it’s absolutely breathtaking. I am fighting the urge to take a zillion and two pictures of every scenic view (and kind of succeeding).

I’m not going to take this blog post to explain everything that happened in training or in our first round of day camp. I’m not going to list off all the adorable things my campers did, or the irritating things, or the wacky things. I’m not going to relay all of our training in all its social justice- and empowerment-centered glory. I’m no going to talk (more) about the mountains.

It wouldn’t be worth it for you. These experiences lose power every time they are moved down the line of communication. They wouldn’t mean as much to you… plus I don’t want to type for that long.

I will give you a little glimpse of what I’ve learned, though.

Here’s the short list of lessons from Alaska:

  • Overstimulation is fun until it’s scary.
  • There’s almost never darkness in Alaska. This means it’s hard to sleep, but it also mean the sunsets are super late and amazing.
  • It isn’t ever actually hard to sleep when you’re a counselor. Sleep is the greatest.
  • You will never know mental exhaustion like being a camp counselor.
  • You will also never know a sense of accomplishment like being a camp counselor. Seeing your 6- and 7-year-old campers brave their fears and go boating or swipe away spider webs is such an amazing feeling.
  • Friendship bracelets are armor.
  • True voice. True voice. True voice.
  • Alaska has monster mosquitos.
  • Going off the grid is great.
  • Always wear a watch.
  • People are always stronger than you think they are.

I want to write more and share everything about camp with you, oh Internet, but I need to go to bed. Breakfast before 8:00 a.m. means I need to go to bed while I can.

It’s amazing here, y’all. It’s a hard job, but it’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I cannot wait for this wonderful place to teach me even more.

This summer of Jaybird is magic.

Intentional planning and some light reading.
Intentional planning and some light reading.
At Girl Scout Encampment, 7 a.m.
At Girl Scout Encampment, 7 a.m.
10 p.m. sunset by 3 Mile Lake
10 p.m. sunset by 3 Mile Lake
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