Notes from the Director

December 2011

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the variety of parties, events, shows and general get togethers that we get to attend.  With two boys in High School, you might guess that many of those functions center around their blossoming high school careers.

Christmas reminds us of the best in our friends and family.  For us, we get to see the best in our camp family as well.  I was very proud on Monday to be sitting at the high school blood drive (yes, I still have extra red blood) and swelled to see the first three students in line to donate were all three La Junta men – two recent DreamKamp staffers from August and one former camper.  Through the summer program, Black Eagles and special programs, giving to others is something we hope rubs off on our people.  It’s certainly likely that almost everyone at the school donated that day, but it was a proud papa moment none the less.  Not quite tears, but certainly a warm feeling while I was one pint low.

Last night, though, was the highlight of the season for me.  It was the first annual (always a presumptuous declaration) Our Lady of the Hills Christmas dinner theater.  We were to be treated to the school’s one act play performance, some holiday skits and tunes and of course, dinner.  Sometimes you attend more out of obligation than raging enthusiasm.  Honestly, that was me last night.  I’m so lucky fate dragged me there.

The one act play was great.  The kids memorable after all their hard work.  The skits and tunes started with an air guitar retrospective of Alvin and Chipmunks and a scene from Little Women (starring the football team) and after the laughter died down,  O.Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”.  Not something I expected.

You remember the story I’m sure.  (The play was a bit enhanced to have two angels trying to understand true love through the original gifts of the Magi at the manger. )  Impoverished Jim sells his family heirloom watch to have enough money to buy his wife a Christmas gift, hair combs for her prized head of hair.  Della sells her beautiful “Crystal Gayle” brown hair to raise enough money to buy her husband a chain for his heirloom watch.  Irony at its best.  Compassion exemplified.  Wisdom beyond their years.  Good thing the lights were down.  It’s possible that I moved a bit beyond warm feeling to goose bumps and sniffles.    I couldn’t help but think about my three La Junta men.  They could’ve stayed in class, cutting up and impressing women, but they chose a deeper meaning to life.  …. insert deep full chested sigh…

Amid the annual gifts of the Holiday season, Cheryl and I are always aware of what a gift it is to have landed at La Junta those 30 years ago and to raise our boys in such a fine community.  It is a gift to have your son as part of the La Junta family.  It is a gift to watch our La Junta men, large and small, old and new, share their gifts in the summer.

Blessings to you and yours this holiday season.

Life is Good.  Camp is Better.  O. Henry is more than a Candy Bar.

Blake

Written by Blake Smith

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