Traditions are a very special part of the camp experience.  They are the glue that hold generations of campers together.  Traditions like Color War, Rope Burn, and Order of Blue and Gold are the events and celebrations that campers look forward to each summer and remember for a lifetime. And though many of our camp traditions date back to past generations, there’s always room for new and relevant traditions.  This past summer, we did just that and introduced S.P.A.R.K.

The S.P.A.R.K. ceremony is where we recognize people within our camp family for their accomplishments, both in camp and at home, who are making a difference in their community.  We celebrate these wonderful campers and staff members who give back to others with their Selfless, Passionate, Authentic, Resilient and Kind ways… all true S.P.A.R.K.s.  This gathering is the perfect opportunity to recognize the campers and staff living by the standards of being “difference makers”, and celebrating their accomplishments.

The first evening of S.P.A.R.K., only one week into the 2017 camp season, was a definite tradition in the making.  The entire camp, dressed in white, gathered in the Arena to hear about the characteristics, traits, and actions that make someone a S.P.A.R.K.  Stories about the individuals who were being honored that evening, and evenings to come were both inspiring and heartwarming.  They were campers and staff that gave back to their community with genuine empathy, kindness, and the wherewithal to not let obstacles stop them from what they believe in.  You could feel the excitement in the air as campers cheered for their friends and counselors being honored and invited up to light a S.P.A.R.K. candle.  As amazing as these individuals are for their contributions to the community, so was the support of the entire camp population as they celebrated each person being honored.  Iroquois Springs is incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful people in our camp community that are making a difference in the lives of others with their selfless, passionate, authentic, resilient and kind ways, as well as the people who are there to celebrate them.

We are so proud of all our S.P.A.R.K. honorees and know they will continue to make a difference in this world.  We celebrated over 20 individuals this past summer, and we look forward to years of S.P.A.R.K. and celebrating our wonderful difference makers! This is an exciting new chapter in the Iroquois Springs world of camp traditions.

Selfless: concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own. Passionate: showing or caused by strong feelings or a strong belief. Authentic: genuine.  Resilient: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.  Kind: a good benevolent nature or disposition. – S.P.A.R.K.