They say that people should live their dreams. I’m sometimes finding it hard to live mine, not because I don’t have any, or because I’m afraid to pursue them, but because I forget them. They come to me in flashes of epiphany, during which I’m clear about what I need to do, but then lose track of them. I see them getting buried under a constant flow of unrelated information, in real time. After a few days, I forget the points that were instrumental to me doing whatever it was I had decided to do, be it small and trivial or massive and life-changing, and lose myself in the grind of routine.
So when I came across a video on YouTube today that reminded me of something I’ve always longed to do, and which I wish to keep at the top of my to-do list, I decided to put it on record, so that I don’t lose it.
What’s that dream? Create a summer camp for kids from all over the world.
See, I was lucky enough to attend such a school when I was a teenager – then got to work there as a young adult. It was an international camp for teenagers to do sports and learn languages (I learned German, then taught English.) We went on city and nature excursions. All five continents were represented. I met people from Japan, Qatar and Venezuela. I met Turkish people and became friends with them, putting to rest the politics that divided us. I saw Israelis become best friends with Palestinians, and Americans with Russians. We laughed without care, like young people do, and cried our hearts out when it was time to say goodbye. Our ‘island of friendship,’ as we, both campers and counselors, referred to it, had forged our psyches.
I’d like to enable children from all over the world to experience what I experienced back in the day. I’m not in the schooling industry, and don’t see myself doing this as a full time job, but, given the chance, I’d like to be involved in such a project.
Having written this piece, chances are I will both remember my dream and act on it, should I have the opportunity.
Now for the video that sparked this article: it’s a flash dance organized by the students of Hingham Middle School in honor of Roger Boddie, their retiring principal. When I saw it I identified the moving spirit that drove our time at camp, spent under the auspices of a good principal and sound principles. At the end of the day, the good things remain, and it’s good to recognize them. It keeps life moving in the right direction.
The original article first appeared in Urban Times.