YMCA Camp Kitaki

Ready or Not

Ready or Not

It happened on a busy check out morning. Like any other Saturday I was running from place to place ensuring that everything was set up and ready for the reunification of 270 campers with their loved ones after a week of camp. As I blew out the door of the dining hall and down the ramp heading towards where camp was assembled in various small piles of gear and humans saying good bye, I encountered a camper coming back into the dining hall. Her eyes were on her feet, and as I passed I heard her say something to no one in particular (and certainly not to me).

Such was my pace that I was several feet past her when I processed what she had said, and a few steps further when I realized what it meant.

“I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to go home.”

Her words have floated up into my thoughts from time to time since, as each time I watched different groups of people grapple with that same feeling. The following week as we said good bye to a different set of campers, the week after that when we said our last goodbyes to campers, and staff, and our summer.

Then again when I, myself, moved home from Camp Kitaki a week later.

There are so many skills that we practice at camp, and saying goodbye to things and people is certainly one of them. I think that one of the powerful things about camp is that it ends. That it, like holiday’s and vacations, comes and goes. The self-reflection apparent in that camper’s thought is deceivingly simple, and yet surprisingly nuanced. To recognize that things are at their end, and that you need to move on, but to know you don’t want to leave the fun, friends and experience of camp. In life we don’t frequently get to be entirely sure of anything, and that can be ok. There was peace in that camper’s tone of voice, and I know the experience of coming to peace with those feelings, and the confidence of doing it, ready or not, will serve her well as she grows.

For us at camp this is a huge transition time, as we change our focus to the various tasks and experiences that need to happen to create the scaffolding that allows us to step into the world of summer camp for 12 weeks each summer. It’s a big shift from the 24 hrs a day of our summer, with different joys to experience and different challenges to be faced.

I’m not entirely sure I’m ready.

But here we go.

Happy Fall,


Fall Round Up - Your last chance to ride horses at Camp Kitaki this year!  

Halloween Camp - 5 Nights of Spooky Silly Fun!

Fall Family BBQ - Bring the whole family to Camp for some Fall activities, including the Camp Kitaki Black Light Show!