Letters From Amy: The Warmth of Visiting Day
For the first time in my life during this winter vacation I had the opportunity of watching three generations of families in, out, around, standing, sitting, playing and swimming at the huge community pool at my new residence in West Palm Beach. Everyone was having so much fun.
A short while later I passed through the eating area. At adjacent tables, there were grandparents, moms, dads and an assortment of children munching on either late breakfast or early lunch.
I felt like putting my arms around the kids, giving them a kiss or a squeeze, hailing the parents, but I said to myself “Amy, simmer down. This is NOT Parents Day at Echo Lake.” Well, it sure FELT AND LOOKED like Parents Day, except for the fact that none of these families knew me at all! And, why would they? It was definitely NOT Parents Day at Echo Lake.
Parents Day at Echo Lake is actually one of the best if not THE best day of the summer. People sometimes think that the Directors and the staff are nervous because we are on display, but being on parade means that all the spirit, wonderfulness, busyness and warmth is visible for everyone from outside our little world to feel and touch. The essence of Echo Lake is truly theirs when they arrive and spend the day.
Our staff feels so appreciated by our parents. Parents are amazed that our staff know their campers so well. Why wouldn’t they? Our counselors are with their kids all day from sun-up to sun-down and our clients are as warm and friendly as their kids are. The staff gets a real kick out of meeting their campers’ moms and dads because they are great people just like their offspring.
You know that many of our counselors have grown up at Echo Lake. We always create a wonderful fusion of oldies but goodies and new folks. All who embrace this new entity and work at this place called “Camp” do so with fervor and love. It comes from being welcomed into such a joyful place. Oh, they all work hard. That’s for sure. But Echo Lake is a family where there are only good people – very unusual in this life. It’s the only work environment for staff where it can truly be said that there are never any bad people.
Our campers are thrilled to pieces to see their parents and vice-versa. They want to show them all their activities and accomplishments and introduce them to their counselors whom they love. Every year there are new activities and great staff to teach them. And all the basics are still in place – land and water sports, creative arts, and TREK all taught by talented and dedicated professionals.
(I’m not even mentioning the fried chicken! That goes without saying.)
So it’s an all-around love fest and fun fest and a great sense of satisfaction and pride that we feel. Parents and grandparents become a real part of our community that day…our great camp family made even bigger and better if such a thing is possible.
And for me I enjoy getting on the loud speaker at the end of the day thanking our parents for coming, wishing them safe travels home and saying “This is Echo Lake, folks, where every day is a HOLIDAY and every meal a BANQUET! See you next year!”
Talk about fun…