Tuesday, August 25, 2015
My summer... David 'Jingles' Garry
Wow. Not counting breaks when I came back to LA, during this summer I had lived up in the mountains near Idyllwild for 60 days, doing my job as Volunteer Coordinator for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times (for kids with cancer and their siblings). As my body is starting to settle down and get regular sleeps, and as I start to slowly culturally adjust to life ‘down the mountain’, I look back on quite the summer… It’s hard to put into words (and with few photos) what life is like up at Camp. The profound impact that it has on folks (campers, volunteers, and staff), and why it’s a tough transition to come back to the city from a microcosm of hugs, high fives, support, and mutual respect. I only wish that more that I know closely would be able to experience something like it for the duration of a session, at least.
I also am always inspired by all of the volunteers that give 8-9 days of their time to be able to give to our campers. To allow them the support and safe space to be wholly themselves, vulnerable and free.
It can be exhausting (and is), but the payoff and reward is worth it. Although it’s taken a good amount out of me (that’s what rest is for), and I might have more grey in my beard than when I started the summer back in the beginning of June (heh), I personally had a great time sleeping under the stars, getting in a mud fight, playing a kidnapper, a 'mental', Darth Jingles, and Agent Coulson, leading songs and games, cabin nights of capture the flag and playing casino, singing songs around a campfire, leading drum circles, stuffing my face silly with good camp food and treats (maybe a little too much), rock ’n roll breakfasts and dances, working closely with our seasonal staff and directing team, and getting to know our volunteers and campers. Hugs to all.
P.S. 'Jingles' is a camp name I answer to (given by friend and Program Director, Chad).
Up next in September: Honored to be a part of a wedding of an awesome couple I know (with the events leading up to it), planning a Volunteer end of summer activity and party for approximately 100-150 people, attending another great wedding, acting in a short film, and then shooting my own short form documentary in Indiana… All in a month, and all the planning for those events! Crazy busy, but I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way.