There is something about live music that taps into something deep within me. I feel this overwhelming charge of energy. The emotion is so strong that I often well up with tears. I don’t know why, I just know it happens. Apparently it’s not a fluke. It happens time and time again. Of course somebody much smarter than I has put it into words…its called awe! And according to Paul Piff and Dacher Ketner in their New York Times Article, “Why Do We Experience Awe,” we should all be seeking the opportunity to experience awe daily. If we do, it will have a profound influence on who we are individually and also as a community.
So, play along for a minute…think of a time or two when you have experienced awe. I would bet that at least one of your experiences involved nature. Was I right? Of course, that’s not hard to predict. It’s all around us, freely accessible. Maybe that’s one reason why we take it for granted and underestimate the power of its influence.
As the New York Times article states, “Adults spend more and more time working and commuting and less time outdoors and with other people. Camping trips, picnics and midnight skies are forgone in favor of working weekends and late at night. Attendance at arts events — live music, theater, museums and galleries — has dropped over the years. This goes for children, too: Arts and music programs in schools are being dismantled in lieu of programs better suited to standardized testing; time outdoors and for novel, unbounded exploration are sacrificed for résumé-building activities.”
We need nature more than ever! Our kids need nature more than ever! Summer camp is one continuous thread of “awesome” experiences woven through the everyday fabric of camp life: observing and exploring nature, developing relationships, trying something new, making connections, reflecting, self-discovery, risks taking, music, art, dance and on and on. A good magician may never admit that there is an explanation behind every magic trick. Well, here you have it folks, there is a reason why camp is such a magical experience. It is that feeling of awe that is experienced over and over again. It changes ones life perspective from “me” to “we.” It makes us nicer and ( I would venture to say) happier!
I vote for awe! It can be found around every corner at Camp Jeanne d’Arc
Written by Sandy Abbott
Director, Camp Jeanne d’Arc