Earlier this month I traveled to Orlando for the American Camp Association national conference. After three days of inspiring and informational session, a group of 9 camp professionals descended on the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
There was a giddiness in the air on our drive to the park as we chatted excitedly in the car. What will Disney be like? What will we do first? Who will we see? What will we eat? Will we have time to do everything we want to? Will Disney be as great as the last time we were here? Will the experience be all that we imagined it to be?
It was a cool 55 degrees (a welcome change from the -9 degrees back home in Colorado!) and had been gloomy and foggy all day. It rained off and on and the sidewalks were wet and slippery. I was curious about how the weather would affect the park. Would people leave early for their hotels? Go to a movie or another indoor activity?
Nope. The magic of Disney permeated the barrier of weather. People bought plastic ponchos and carried on with their fun, as if it were 80 degrees and sunny! It quickly reminded me of camp. Just the word “camp” invokes giddiness in some people (guilty!). There’s a nervous excitement as you travel to camp. What will camp be like? What will we do first? What if I don’t know anyone? What if I don’t like the food? Will there be time to do everything I want to do? Will camp be as great as the last time we were here? Will the experience be all that we imagined it to be?
What if it rains?!?
It does rain at camp, and those days often turn out to be the most fun- the days when something unexpected happens. When a hike involves puddle jumping and a mud fight or you end up with extra time to work on your crafts project.
Our evening at Disney did not disappoint. We didn’t have time do every ride, so we got Fast Passes for the rides we most wanted to do (Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain) and waited in lines for other rides. We saw lots of happy faces- families with young children, cheerleaders who were there for a competition and even adults without kids like ourselves. We ate delicious treats like chocolate croissants and turkey legs, funnel cake and ice cream. It was as magical as the last time I was there. Once again, I was very impressed with all of the Disney cast members that we came in contact with. It was a great evening!
My hope is that the Cheley Experience invokes those same feelings and emotions for every one of our campers, and that campers and parents to be impressed by their interactions with Cheley staff members.
Remember that sometimes those gloomy, foggy days can turn into something totally unexpected!
Kim Betts-Human Resources Cheley Colorado Camps