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There’s really no such thing as normal around here….at least not normal by real world standards.  Sure, we wake, we eat, we clean, we play, we eat again, we play some more.  It’s the in between goings on that we wish we could teach the real world to embrace.

The real world generally feels obligated to sit still at meals without the need for clapping, banging, chanting or squealing.  That’s normal for us.

The real world would be likely be shocked at strategically placed electronic or air driven Fart Generators.  That’s normal for us.  (and a highlight of many days)

The real world can get from point “a” to point “b” without a football, soccer ball, frisbee, nerf gun or stick.  That’s normal for us.  (sometimes simultaneously)

The real world only wears face paint to playoff ball games.  It is of course, normal to us.

The real world sees a damaged shuffleboard stick for what it was.  A shuffleboard stick.  It’s normal for us to begin a not so passive discussion as to wether said stick would make a better light saber, sword, axe or poker.  (all are of course necessary to get you between classes.)  In fact, I picked up a deceased shuffle board stick (official name?) after dinner the other night.  I stood in the red chairs (after swinging it to see what kind of sound it made) and counted how many of our young men would want it, want to touch it, want to hold it or want to know where I got it.  Let’s just say there were fewer who didn’t ask.  I had to take it to Kerrville for proper, permanent disposal, lest I find it being carried and weaponized between classes!

The real world sees a riding arena ceremony at dusk as hot, sweaty and dusty.  We see it as both a wonderful tradition and a time for pride.  Since Luther Graham took over Camp La Junta in 1955 there has been a rough rider presentation each session.  It has changed very little in 60 years.  The kids are different and some of the horses new (a few) but the ceremony remains traditional.  What I hope remains the same, is the sheer joy that the bulk of our kids experience as they watch.  (joy, envy, admiration, celebration)  My favorite moment last night came as we announced the final 8 rough riders.  I always stand up front. ( to make sure no frisbees, footballs or shuffle board sticks make it over the rail).   I’m right in the midst of the Wranglers.  You might remember that a week ago we had Big Buddy day.  They did.  From the first of the eight, there was genuine pride coming from the wranglers as I heard a rough rider announced and a wrangler proclaim “He’s My Big Buddy!”.  The real world has 13 year olds and 8 year olds most often as protaganists, occasonally just ignored.  We have big buddies and a day of memories.  That’s normal for us.

Have a great final week.  We’re bringing things to a fever pitch, so we can send you some tired, accomplished young men next weekend!

Life is Good.  Camp is Better.  They’re all my Big Buddy!


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