When I walk into my son Liam’s room, there is not any direction in which you can turn without stumbling across a Camp Nominingue artifact. There is his shield (not yet mounted on the wall), his “2009 Most Athletic Camper” award which is lying upside down on a remote shelf, several Camp Nominingue group photos is various stages of “flatness” which consume his desk space (well, one is still in the tube) and his medal for his 5th year at the camp. The medal was on the floor, tucked up against the leg of his bed and under a stack of books that are either un-read, read or re-read.
This degree of neglect might seem to indicate how unimportant the Nominingue memories are for him. Take the 5th year camper medal as an example. Shouldn’t it be up next to a large group of soccer trophies, engraved hockey pucks or lacrosse pendants? Those things aren’t in Liam’s room but Camp Nominingue is. It’s everywhere in his room through his shield, through his medal, through his pictures and through the exuberant, impulsive interjections that begin with, “Mom, did I tell you about the time at camp that we…”
No, Liam’s medal has not been misplaced due to insignificance. I have another interpretation. He was probably holding it while pretending to fall asleep on a school night. If I know Liam, he might even have had his flashlight on while he was reading and then his eye happened upon the medal and he grabbed it just to feel it again. Just to be pulled back to that campfire ring or that day on the sailboat or that moment that his teammate carried him to win a leg in a race because, “Hey mom, I’m light and when you have to carry one of your team members to win a race then having a ‘small and light’ team member is all GOOD!”
From Liam’s first summer at your camp, he has found a family that only finds good in him. The depth of nurturing that he experiences there literally fuels him for the other days of the year and other arenas of his life where success, competence and athleticism are often more narrowly defined. We are overjoyed to have the Camp Nominingue community as part of our family that is raising Liam to fly beyond his wildest dreams and to set those visions on his own rather than allow others to paint that horizon for him.