“Johan Huizinga, grand scholar of play [knew] play occurs in a place apart. Play has its playgrounds—‘forbidden spots, isolated, hedged round, hallowed, within which special rules obtain. All are temporary worlds within the ordinary world, dedicated to the performance of an act apart.’”
---R. Oldenburg, The Great Good Place
I recently started reading Ray Oldenburg’s The Great Good Place. In the book, he uses “great good place” interchangeably with “third place." These are the spaces in our lives that are not our home, our work, or our school. A third place is where people come together to be. They have their own cultures, sets of norms and rituals, feelings, and community. Following an invitation into the leadership of AICL, in the past few months I’ve found myself in an exciting and new third place. I’ve asked people about their stories, to describe their relationships with camp. In response, I’ve heard camp described as a “village,” “a living breathing thing,” “special,” “a place to return to,” “a place to belong.”
Beyond camp, AICL is an organization that not only allows, but invites, encourages, and fosters creativity and personal growth. AICL is a place to belong, a place to imagine, and a place to grow. As a mother, educator, and psychologist, I can’t conceive of any better combination for creating a great good place.
Looking forward, I want to invite the AICL community to join me in brainstorming ways to extend our sacred third place into our lives year-round. I’m excited to work with board members and volunteers to strengthen our alumni network and help staff, campers, parents, and donors feel connected to camp outside of summer alone. I’m hopeful that these efforts will also serve to introduce AICL to new groups of campers who may not know it yet, but long to become members of this community.
Here are some ways to start sharing your ideas, life events, and general love for camp:
Share what camp means to you in the comments below!
If you haven’t connected with AICL on social media, do! We’re on Instagram and Facebook. (Alumni, don’t forget to join the alumni group on Instagram).
Post your memories of camp, your accomplishments, the daily little things that remind you of AICL and don’t forget to tag us. (When it makes sense, you can connect your AICL posts with popular hashtags like #atcamp #BeCurious #TIL #TuesdayThoughts #TBT #MondayMotivation.)
Stay tuned! And keep on keepin' on,
Executive Director, AICL