Valentine’s Day & Friendships

Chocolate and candy hearts are everywhere!!!  It’s Valentine’s Day and the perfect time to celebrate some of your most enduring relationships…your friends.  February 14th is traditionally a day to celebrate romantic relationships, but the strength and importance of true friendship deserves some celebrating as well.  Friends stand by you through thick and thin, support your hopes and dreams, allow you the freedom to be yourself, and are vitally important to the quality of your life.

Recent years have shown a shift in how schools are celebrating Valentine’s Day. Traditional V-Day celebrations are being replaced with “Friendship Parties” in some schools across the country to emphasize friendship and kindness.  These celebrations embrace the importance of friendship and encourage kids to be good to their friends.   And it’s not just kids making the shift, A US News report found that more than half of Americans shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts give them to someone other than a significant other, like a family member or friend.

Celebrating friends as “Valentines” is perfect because having friends is one of the keys to happiness.  Friendship can have a major impact on health and overall well-being.  Friends give us confidence, increase our sense of purpose, security and belonging, and have an enormous impact on our lives.  They can even encourage us to avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits.  Many studies over the years have found that people generally live longer, happier, healthier lives if they have a strong network of support from friends and family.  That is the power of friendship.

And there is no group that understands the power of friendship more than camp kids. Camp friendships develop face-to-face, side-by-side, and in real time.  There are no smartphones to interfere with developing the strong bonds that come out of the camp experience.  Campers are lucky to have so many social media platforms to stay connected to one another throughout the year, but the absence of social media at camp is truly a gift to camp friendships.

Camp life is 24/7 and develops lasting friendships through living, playing and taking on new challenges and adventures together.  Campers wake up together, eat together, play, laugh, grow, and build memories together.  Camp friends are there through the highs and the lows, and let us be who we are.  They know our fears, secrets, and quirks, and love us through it all.  From uncontrollable laughter and good times, to sharing problems or our proudest moments, our camp friends help us define who we are.  The strong friendships that develop at camp are the driving force that keeps campers coming back to Iroquois Springs year after year.

February 14th offers the perfect opportunity to show affection for close friends who add so much to our lives.  On Valentine’s Day celebrate the friends in your life who mean the most to you.   Let them know how much you appreciate their support, encouragement, and friendship.

“Many people will walk in and out of your life; but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!