We had a quiet Saturday evening at Daybreak Camp last night. In past years, most of the counselors (and their camper-children) came to camp for training Saturday afternoon. It was an evening full of camaraderie, fellowship and activity.
As a cost-cutting measure, the director decided to forgo the meeting. Instead, he conducted counselor training in several private homes in May and June. This works because most campers and staff live somewhere between the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.
The result is a significant savings. Since we pay Daybreak Camp a set per person per night rate, the director will be able to use those funds elsewhere. The money may help provide another scholarship for a camper.
But the decision has a human cost -- at least for those who spent Saturday night at camp. The director and registrar both came and returned to their homes after working on last-minute cabin assignments, the budget and setting up for registration today.
I miss the companionship we've had each year with the kitchen staff and counselors. It's been a time to catch up on friendships, conduct food safety training and eat Round Table pizza. More than the food (after all, take-out pizza is take-out pizza) our pre-camp meeting was the best night of the week.
Camp was too quiet last night. Constant chatter from our four-year-old granddaughter did little to fill the void. After dinner on the Santa Cruz wharf, we returned to an empty camp. It was an out of place feeling.
By this afternoon the camp will fill with the sounds of campers running on the lawn and jumping over the gopher holes. The registration tables will be a mass of organized chaos as parents drop their children off. Haggling over t-shirt sizes, color of the camp bandanna and cabin assignments will be the norm.
Compared to the peaceful tranquility at Daybreak this morning, campers and staff will ramp up the decibel level. As the cool coastal air of morning turns to the midday heat of the Coast Range, you'll know that the 2008 Northern California FC Camp is in session.
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