There was a moment at Camp Night Hawk that will stay with all of us for the rest of our lives. After a week of focus on various projects in our skill based guilds (making bows, learning friction fire, creating baskets from pine needles, and making plant medicines to name a few), we gathered on the last evening to celebrate with a raucous talent showcase around the fire. The event highlighted not only the awesome passions of our campers and staff, but also the astounding level of creativity and trust that turns up after a week of learning about our world and ourselves.
The show was great, but what happened afterward was truly beyond description. Maybe it was the memory of the previous night’s calm around the fire when community elders came to share their stories and listen to our questions. Or the way the moon happened to rise between the trees and frame up perfectly with the fire. Or perhaps it was just the good old fashioned magic of connecting deeply with something that matters…but one by one, kids and staff alike drifted toward an unfinished project or around fire, or over to the drum and guitar.
Authentic conversations emerged among the music of voices and sandpaper on bow staves. Smoke rose from the coal-burned spoons, and time just melted away as a sense of absolute trust and complete lack of judgment enveloped us all. It felt like there was no other place to be on earth but there, among friends, and among a sense of ourselves that most people might only hope to experience.
“WOW!! What a change in my son after attending Camp Night Hawk. We didn’t really know what to expect, but dropping him off in a beautiful area with the teepees and the sound of drums in the background, we knew it was going to be magical. Amazing what can happen in the wilderness with great counselors and just finding yourself…He matured, was happy but tired, and I can tell had a new bond with nature, himself and our family.” -Patty Dobis, parent
To say we as a staff are grateful for the opportunity to mentor these kids is such an understatement. It is absolutely an honor to witness our next generation step into their gifts and personalities with profound confidence and vision, for themselves, for their communities, and for our world.