I just got back from working at Shrine Mont Camps Art Camp, and it was of course another freaking fantastic week of campers and lots of art time. This guy is from our staff doing something called “Secret Best Friends”, which is basically Secret Santa but you have 24 hours and can’t spend any money to make your gift.
My person was our camp chaplain, who happens to be a bishop in our diocese, and was the spear head for our theme of saints. We focused mainly on the fact that they came at their faith as themselves, they were broken, doubtful, and more often than not really weird people. But they tried and tried to follow God’s word and to do their best to put some good into the world. So the piece is meant to reflect all of that, that we are all saints.
Walking away from that week I think i really came to see that as less of a theme for the week and more as a fact of life. Our campers showed up at the beginning of the week at various stages of comfort in the camp and themselves. As the days went on and facades dropped and we started to get to know each other, the campers, and our selves I think a lot of us were beginning to realize the power in being nothing more or less than ourselves. In the week and a half I spent on the mountain I saw a non verbal camper from another camp sing three songs (including frere jacque), a camper who honestly terrified some members of camp melt our hearts later the same day, campers and counselors both grow in experiencing art as more than if it is technically good or not but if they enjoyed it, and campers begin to stop critiquing themselves on if they had done well or not but if they had been themselves and are proud of what they’ve done. It was amazing by the end of the week to see how much more holy we all were and how much better we all were, simply when we stopped trying to measure ourselves to things we thought we needed to be and judged ourselves only by how proud we were of what we had accomplished.
The world and ourselves tell us all the things that are wrong about us, but under all the crap that is our competitive and materialistic society, we are all holy, and we are all plenty.