The holiday season is here and the festivities have already begun. The Thanksgiving turkey has been served, black Friday shopping has occurred, and we kicked off December with the joy of seeing our camp friends at the IS camp reunion. As we continue to celebrate the season with holiday gatherings, vacations, and welcoming in a new year, the word tradition comes to mind. Traditions provide an important connection to the past and enrich our lives. Traditions can be anything from preparing a special family recipe, to watching a specific movie with friends, a place you visit, or the way you ring in the new year. No matter what your family and friends do together, traditions give us a sense of belonging and security and create lasting memories.

Camp life is rich in traditions. Traditions are a central part of the camp culture, and we count on them to keep us connected. Camp traditions help campers and staff become a part of something larger than themselves, leading to greater empathy and appreciation for the camp community. In such a fast pace world, where things are continually changing, it’s nice to know that camp traditions stay constant. From the very first camp fire, where we sing songs, laugh, eat smores, and connect with our division, we know the value of camp traditions. The amazing 4th of July Fireworks, staff and camper Talent Shows, Girls Side Sing, Rope Burn, College Days, Order of the Blue and Gold, Color Week, Mock Rock, and The Burning of the Year, all create lasting memories and strengthen our bond. Each and every one of the wonderful traditions at camp provide a sense of security and continuity from one summer to the next.

To get a sense of tradition at camp just take look at the walls of the theatre. They are lined with plaques of Color Weeks through the years. These artistic creations reflecting the blue and gold teams symbolize that we are part of a history that shape our identity. It’s the perfect example of how tradition matters at camp. It allows us to reflect back through the camp years and appreciate the value of being a part of something greater than ourselves. The same sense of tradition can be seen at daily line-up with the handing out of “Fuzzies”. This tradition teaches us the value of kindness, respect and integrity. Recognizing campers that exhibit thoughtfulness and generosity towards others is at the core of the Iroquois Springs community. The list of camp traditions is plentiful, but the common ground is that they help us create and share a collective experience and shape who we are individually. They provide a sense of belonging and create lasting memories.

As you approach this holiday season, enjoy the traditions you have created and even make some new ones.   Whatever your traditions are, we hope they bring you a feeling of value and belonging, like camp traditions do for the Iroquois Springs family. Happy Holidays!