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What does a year mean?
2022 - 2023
During summer camp, homesickness happens to pretty much every kid. They all deal with it in different ways, some through distraction, but others well…they don’t deal.
They clam up, lock down, get stuck.
I’m thinking of one boy named Milton*(not real name). By the mid week, he was pretty much done with camp, wasn’t fitting in with his mates and overall, felt bored. His solution was “call home and come pick me up.”
I had a better idea.
I have noticed that when kids are bored, this is really a symptom of an unmet need to flex the imagination. I don’t think imagination comes natural, although for some kids, it comes easier. We really do need to work on our imagination for it to serve us. And boredom, to me, is a sign that a child needs to work their imagination.
So I told the camper, “gather 2 friends and meet me in the health lodge” - Prescription: a simple game of tabletop role playing. You are all prisoners in a goblin camp and in 12 hours, you’re on the menu. Escape, or be eaten!
The boys had a blast. They loved my rich narration, and how creepy the goblins were. They also loved messing around with the fantasy environment. To be honest, it gave them an outlet to break stuff and make things happen.
Sometimes you just need to burn things to the ground.
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A year later, I am passing out the daily medications at the camp and a kid walks up to me, his breakfast plate piled high with bacon and eggs. He says, “are you stilling playing D&D? I was one of the “friends” Milton brought over. I haven’t stopped playing since you showed me how. Thanks!”
He walked away with a smile, and I was left there with one as well.
What a difference a year makes - and all because someone was homesick.
May your story continue!