It has been another eventful week here at Tyler Hill! The ninth annual flag football tournament saw the end of Tyler Hill’s undefeated streak. Despite Tyler Hill’s loss, the Laz Bowl was still both exciting and fun to watch. The only thing that matters is that Tyler Hill played competitively and exhibited great STARFISH! Congratulations to our sister camp, Timber Lake, for taking it home!
Ron Dagon performed a magnificent night of music whilst our campers were showing incredible spirit and friendship. A surprise appearance from the Hawk and Wonder Woman after the performance excited our campers for the looming breakout of Color War!
Our dance competition results were Tyler Hill first for lower camp they also received a perfect score, we then tied for first with Starlight for middle camp and finally were place second behind upper camp for Seneca Lake! Congratulations everyone! You were awesome!
Congratulations STARFISH winners this week; Evan Bader, Emma Plotkin, Liam Mcquillen, Mia Camerata, Jordan Teicher, Julia Haboosh, Max Niessen, Remi Zakariw, Landon Silbowitz, Rachel Mayer, Jarred Allen, Charlie Eisen, Chad Minick, Hannah Resnick, Davis Schwartz, Jen Spar, Dylan Barth, Mel Shaw, and Dara Blatteis. We are really proud of all of you!
Check out Wendy’s speech on Integrity:
Sometimes integrity is more than doing the right thing — it’s NOT doing the WRONG thing. And there’s definitely a difference.
Flashback to Monday night…the final game of our Laz Bowl Football Tournament was being played between two rival teams – neither of which was Tyler Hill. I could describe the scene, but most of you were there. With heads up and heavy hearts, we went out to the field to support our sister camp, Timberlake, in the final game against Camp Wayne. It was the first time that Tyler Hill was not playing in a Laz Bowl game under the lights, the first time that no faces were painted blue, no Tyler Hill’s Amazing cheers to be heard.
I have no doubt that you all would have been happier going to ANY other evening activity at this camp. Nonetheless, you showed up in the stands. And because we asked you to, you cheered and got excited as best you could. Under the circumstances, it was the right thing to do.
As I made my way through the stands, a few of our counselors sitting together stopped me and were really upset — they asked me why we were asking our campers to cheer for anyone. They told me that they didn’t want to cheer at all – particularly for teams that had defeated them. It felt to them unfair – and they swore that if we were playing at any other camp in a scenario such as this one, no other camp director would have sent their kids out to cheer. They didn’t care who won – because either way it was not Tyler Hill. They went on to recount to me stories of players from other camps saying less than kind things to our Laz Bowl team players when we lost – maybe even heckling them. They were not happy, to say the least.
I know how it feels. I know when someone isn’t good to you, your first inclination is to treat them the same way. I know when you lose, it’s not natural to want to cheer on anyone else. But here’s what I told our counselors: “Think about how it would feel to be playing in a camp where everyone treats you poorly. Think about how it would feel to not be supported at all by your hosts when you put your heart and soul into playing a game, fair and square. You can imagine it clearly and it doesn’t feel good. Why would you want someone else to feel that? Let’s not stoop low and walk away. Let’s NOT do the WRONG thing.”
It may have been painful, but we showed great integrity that night.
As you know, integrity is not just about sports and cheering. Integrity plays out all day every day in everything that we do. It’s honesty, respect, compassion. And it’s not about doing the right thing because you don’t want to get in trouble, it’s about doing the right thing because it’s right. It’s about acting in the right way NOT because you want praise or extra canteen or a “shout out”. And, by the way, acting with integrity never includes the words: “It’s okay as long as we don’t get caught” or “It’s not so bad because everyone else is doing it.” We’ve ALL said those famous words at one time or another. And just by uttering or thinking them, it means that you automatically know that what you’re doing isn’t right.
Integrity is keeping the secret that your bunkmate told you in private, even though three other friends begged you to tell them what she said. It’s telling your counselor the truth when he asks who drew on wall in your bunk. It’s keeping a commitment to play on a tournament soccer team, even though you’d rather stay back at camp and go to cooking for electives. It’s telling me the truth when you come to my table at lunch and ask me for a cookie and I ask you, “Did you already have a first?” It’s standing up for another camper when someone else blames him for something that he didn’t do.
When you act with integrity, you set an example for others. You show the world what a good person you are. When you show integrity, you can look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of the person that you see.
Isn’t it awesome what we learn through STARFISH? I think everyone could use a little STARFISH in their lives. And we’re just lucky that we have it here. And we’re lucky that we get to talk about it all week and especially on Friday nights…because talking about it reminds us always how to conduct ourselves both in here camp and when we go back home.
Before I end this and send you off for another amazing week in camp – and out of camp for those of you going on trips this week (by the way, I will miss you) – I want to share with you an important lesson that CIT’s reminded me of this week.
I was lucky enough to get invited on Tuesday night to the coolest CIT campfire in Tyler Hill history. As the fire crackled and sent smoke high above the golf course trees, our forty oldest Tyler Hill campers sat arm and arm, hand in hand, on each other’s laps, shoulder to shoulder and reminisced about the memories they have made together throughout their years here. Most CIT’s have been here at camp for 7, 8 or even 9 years and are counting down – or rather savoring – their very last days as Tyler Hill campers. After August 17th, the next time they drive through our THC front gate, they will be coming in as counselors. As they shared stories, and after Andy talked to them about cherishing memories and making the best of these last days together, they were in tears, I was in tears, Andy was in tears thinking about Closing Day. There are fewer days from now until the end of camp than there are in some school Christmas breaks. There are fifteen days, two Fridays, 360 hours left until it’s time to say good-bye…that is not a lot of time.
So take a lesson from the 40 CIT’s who fill the back benches of this Camp-I-Theatre. Make the most of these last two weeks. Don’t waste your time complaining or fighting or whining or nitpicking with your bunkmates. Smile instead of sulking, say yes instead of no, laugh when you want to cry and DON’T waste any time! Make these the best memories of the summer.