You know the tale of the Sword in the Stone? I've only seen the Disney version. And I only remember that the sword could only be pulled from the stone by the *one true heir* (right?).
Today, a kid got her backpack zipper stuck on itself. The worst.
She couldn't get the zipper out. I couldn't get the zipper out. Our school counselor couldn't get the zipper out.
As more and more kids got distracted from what they were "supposed" to be doing, I invited any brave souls to take part in the Sword in the Stone challenge. At one point, there were over 10 kids huddled around this sweet girl's backpack in the hallway. At another point, I got asked for a "big knife" (nope).
These kids had been through a hell of a school week. They were asked to take an (unnamed) standardized test to (allegedly) assess their potential for (traditional) college.
This stuck zipper led to some fascinating problem-solving, group communication, and ingenuity. The kids showed so much about their own thinking styles and abilities (are you asking about physics of zippers? are you assembling a team of trusted pals? are you just looking to get your hands on a big knife?).
In the end, a 12th grader who had felt pretty defeated by pencil-and-paper tests all week was named the One True Heir to the Backpack Kingdom. His peers cheered as he soaked up the glory.
This was a tiny moment in the hall, but it reminded me of the moments we get every day at camp. Watching kids thrive in the world just by being exactly who they are.
That's why camp is so important for our kids.