I thought you might enjoy hearing a little about what vegans do at summer camp. Some people mistakenly think every minute is spent thinking about or preparing the food. Or even worse, that they take everything so seriously that they don’t know how to have fun.
After breakfast Saturday morning, you would have seen all the campers making their way around the trail that circled the lake. They were carrying a piece of paper and pencil and stopped to write notes occasionally. They all gathered at the fire pit when they returned, and shared the results of their treasure hunt.
At another point, you would have seen a strange sight. Were those blindfolds they were wearing ? ? ? Each blindfolded camper was being carefully led around the grounds by another camper who made sure they safely stepped over any roots or rocks that might have tripped them up. With their eyes covered, they were more sensitive to the feel of the ground under their feet, the sounds around them, and how it felt to walk from the sun into a shadow. (It’s amazing what we don’t notice when we depend primarily upon our eyes!)
Later you would have seen them all go off by themselves and sit on the ground. They just sat there . . . apparently looking at something, but what ? ? ? They were engaged in a “micro walk” and exploring the tiny details of just what was in front of them. They discovered a whole world that’s going on, literally under their feet, that they rarely pay the slightest attention to.
At mealtimes, you’d have seen a different crew for each meal busily preparing food and setting the table. Then, in less than 30 minutes the feast was served. Everyone heaped their plates with delicious food and sat around a group of tables that had been pushed together so they could all be together. And if you could hear from your bird’s eye perch, you’d have even heard them sing something together, ending in 3 part harmony! Wow! An instant choir!
After the merriment, they got much quieter. They continued to sit around the fire pit and you wouldn’t have seen much activity, but you’d have felt something in the air. There was a feeling of deep respect, care, and compassion that held the circle in an embrace as different people talked. The changing seasons of the earth are mirrored in the seasons of our lives, and they felt connected to the earth and each other as they shared about their own seasons.
They didn’t do everything together, though. You’d have seen that there were times when some people paired up in paddle boats and made their way around the lake. Others sat in the sun, reading or visiting with each other. There were a couple of brave souls actually swimming, and you might have seen at least one person head inside for a nap.
Actually, if you didn’t know this was a vegan summer camp, you probably wouldn’t have been able to tell from your bird’s eye view. However, it would have all become clear when you heard their camp cheer:
Delisa is a plant-based nutrition and cooking instructor in Alaska. She believes that we are designed to be slim and healthy.