The News from Magruder: March 11-17

It’s been an exciting week here on the coast.  The weather has been outstanding. We’ve seen temperatures comparable to our summer season except usually in the summer the grass has dulled to brown.  Middle schoolers in Outdoor School have filled our grounds. It’s been nice to have them back. We can sometimes hear them singing or laughing from the office, and you can’t cross camp without catching a snippet of a field study or hear the very distinctive clumping of a middle schooler in rain boots on a trail nearby.  The weather and the campers’ return syncing up easily lifted spirits around here. The ocean was a pretty blue green several days this week.

Camp life is very in tune with the seasons.  For many of us the spring work is very different than the winter work.  In the kitchen, the days of deep cleaning and experimenting with recipes are traded in for jam packed days serving lots of hungry middle school mouths.  The housekeepers’ schedules becomes more constant. In my work, spring means it’s time for staff and leader trainings. It also means summer is just around the corner.  I check the summer camp registrations regularly. I get excited when I see familiar names. I wonder about the campers belonging to those new names I see, too.

This week at Outdoor School we had two different middle school groups.  On Wednesday one group left and literally moments later, another group arrived.  Throughout the whole week, the same counselors, generally high schoolers, remained.  Those high schoolers are essential to the operation. Their willingness to serve is what makes it possible for those middle schoolers to be here.  It’s obvious a lot of times that those high schoolers are willing to come back because they’ve experienced how powerful a week at outdoor school can be already, when they were in those middle schoolers’ shoes.  I’ve watched them throughout this week more closely. Their interest and joy in being at camp is infectious.

Middle Schoolers arriving to Outdoor School
This year, I check one registration list slightly more than I check the others.  We’re offering a new Senior High camp this summer. I find myself drifting over to its registration list in my down moments.  It’s what humans do: we try to anticipate what’s coming. I read the names signed up so far. I imagine what it will be like.

We already offer Senior High Coast Adventure and Music, Arts, Dance, Drama (and tech) camps both for high school students.  The arts camp, or MADD, is known for the incredible community it builds as it prepares for its annual production at the end of its week.  It’s one of our oldest, most successful camps. Senior High Coast Adventures hosts a small group of campers that travel to different sites around the coast together.  They enjoy an intimate, tight knit community they build in relationship to their experience in nature.

We’re excited about the potential of this new camp.  We hope to offer many different options for high schoolers at our camp to grow and flourish and continue in their spiritual journeys.  It’s our goal to build safe spaces for high schoolers to ask hard questions and talk together about what those questions mean with other campers their age.  We’ve asked Sam Hatch to dean it. Sam has been the Middle School II dean in July for the past two summers. That camp has thrived, and Sam’s energy is naturally warm and welcoming.  As much as we need and love our high school counselors, I know from experience the impact that the mentors and memories of being a high school camper had on me, too. We believe even more powerful communities are possible after Middle School camp; we want our high school students to have that opportunity.

I dragged a chair out onto North Ball Field to write this week’s blog.  I didn’t feel good about being inside on a day as pretty as this one. I don’t know the next chance I’ll have to sit out and enjoy the weather.  I think of the speed of my everyday life, how often it keeps me from sitting still and basking in the sunlight. I can only imagine how much more busy high schoolers are now than when I was there.  I think it’s important to offer the space for them to relax and reflect in fellowship with their peers and mentors that care. I can’t wait to see what this summer will hold.

If you feel so inclined, one of the biggest things you can do to support Camp Magruder is to share our photos and blog posts either on your personal social media or in real life with the people you love.  I look to the summer and ahead at the rest of our spring, excited for the potential. The potential to share in this with others, to make fellowship and keep growing in those hard questions, to see many different seasons of life together.

See a full list of our children and youth, intergenerational, and family camps at  Please email or call me, Hope, if you have any questions.


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