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Next in our ongoing discussion of the Woodcraft Laws is Truth, another often-quoted gem. “Word of honor is sacred,” this Law reminds us. “Play fair; foul play is treachery.” I am frequently impressed with the willingness of our campers to be truthful, fair, and selfless, and today I saw all three play out during Free Time at the waterfront. Our swimming lake has a capacity of twenty-six campers, or thirteen buddy pairs, and it is often a mad scramble after Afternoon Activities to be one of the first to get their name on the Buddy Board. While the thought of a massive group of campers running toward the dock is a stressful one, our campers make it a lot easier on us. This group happily and politely lined up in the order they’d arrived, dividing into buddy pairs and letting others ahead of them to be with their friends. A few minutes later, cheers and splashes rung across the field, with groups settling into games of Marco Polo, Categories, and a diving contest. After twenty minutes or so had passed and a new group had formed to wait for their turn, one of our lifeguards asked for volunteers to step out so others could swim, and right away, over half the hands went up. Seriously, these kids are awesome–they come to camp with an intrinsic understanding of fairness, and a selflessness well beyond their years. It’s truly incredible to watch unfold, and it happens here every single day.

Story by Lille Wright with photos by Brandon S. Marshall