From Sunday in the Pines, July 11, 2011 (Theme of “The Gifts We Give”)
By Barb Sullivan (ALC Staff Member)
This is true: On various occasions in my life, I have been given a purple and green horizontal striped sweater (umm..), a “make-your-own-candle-kit” (me? really?), a fanny pack (does anyone my age need to wear a fanny pack?) and even a crocheted black and gray lap blanket (45… NOT 90!!!)
So what did I do with these lovely items? You guessed it… I REGIFTED them! Amy Vanderbilt, the noted etiquette and manners author, would be horrified for she states it is the height of rudeness to give a gift selected for you to another. Oh Amy, I totally disagree!! I re-gift often. In fact a few of you might have received some of my gems for your birthdays or holidays. But beyond my habit of re-gifting these lovely gifts, I have become VERY GOOD at re-gifting Alford Lake Camp.
You are the gifts I share with my family, friends, colleagues and my community in my “winter life” – each and everyone of you has been handed over by me at one time or another. Amy Vanderbilt clearly doesn’t know the gift of ALC and all of you or she would never object to the regifting I do!! Each of you are amazing gifts to me -
Campers: You are the gift of energy, exploration, enthusiasm and fun. When I want to feel young at heart, I think of your smiles, your songs and your passion for trying new things. I share you – when I remember to say “please” and “thank you”, when I write to my parents, when I reach out to someone new. You are regifted everyday in my life!
CTs – Junior & Senior: I re-gift your love for ALC and the friendships you have built here all the time. Honoring traditions, sharing what you have learned throughout your years at camp is a gift that makes me remember that the things that have been important to me in my life are worth holding onto and cherishing. You are a gift I find easy to share!
Counselors: You are my gift of responsibility. You have taken on an awesome and sometimes exhausting job of caring for and loving other peoples’ children. You teach with enthusiasm, lead with quiet grace and give of yourselves day and night in a million different ways. Wise and understanding beyond your years, I re-gift you when I interact with children. I take the gifts you have showed and shared with me and give them to others. You are people I admire and I try to re-gift YOU in my days.
Regifting you, the “bungalows” and “non-tents” is hard! For you have given me your example of ceaseless work, attention to detail and work that is undefined but never too much for you. When I roll up my sleeves and do more than I feel is my share, I am regifting YOU!
I guess I re-gift the Directors too. When I try to lead, plan and organize, I take your gifts, Sue & Betsy, and dig deep to find them in myself. When juggling too many things seems to drive me to exhaustion, I re-gift YOU and find a way. When I work for something bigger than myself, especially ALC, I am re-gifting Sue & Betsy.
I re-gift ALC singing: There is always a reason to sing! I re-gift the Eleanor Room – there is always a chance to talk things out and move forward! I re-gift this beautiful, natural camp – for cherishing this wild open place reminds me to appreciate nature and the simple life! I re-gift the meals we share, the laughter and the joys of our summer days together! I re-gift each of YOU for you have taught me to love unconditionally and that by simply being here, in this special community, is the most amazing gift of all!
So, I would like to give you each a ribbon. Take one, tie it on you today and remember that I am re-gifting you always! And perhaps, you just might want to re-gift ALC too!