Back in the 1980s, there used to be a super cheesy saying that was passed around a lot, mostly by middle-school science teachers. It goes basically like this:
The earth is traveling through the Universe and around the sun at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour. If you think about it, we’re all astronauts aboard Spaceship Earth!
As corny as it sounds, I kind of like the idea. Maybe the modern-day version is High School Musical’s “We’re All in this Together.” It’s true. What one country puts into the atmosphere drastically affects the rest of us. An earthquake hits Haiti and generosity from America to Europe to Australia pours forth. One person starting a “Free Hugs” campaign among their friends can echo across the globe.
The coolest thing about all 6 ½ billion of us chillin’ on Spaceship Earth together is that we are similar, yet so wildly different. It all comes down to culture. The way people celebrate the New Year differs drastically from country to country, city to city, even household to household. The common theme is that we are all celebrating, right? (I’m not sure if there are any cultures that cry all day for New Years but if you find one let me know). Culture is what unites and divides us. It’s what gives us context for the ways in which we live our lives.
Oftentimes, we refer to the SuperCamp culture. This culture includes how we speak, the type of music we play, our styles of learning, and especially our traditions (traditions!). If you’ve only ever been to one SuperCamp session, it may be hard to imagine that camp could look any differently than the one you experienced. If you have been to more than one session, you know that camps can look incredibly different from one session to another. This past summer, I had the awesome opportunity to facilitate at four different sessions – in four different locations: Singapore, Wake Forest, Loyola Marymount, and San Marcos. It was also my eighth summer working at SuperCamp.
Keeping that in mind, one of my favorite aspects of camp is Team Time. I love the music, the energy, the dancing, the cheers, the screaming and madness that we Facilitators get to enjoy when we say those three magic words:
“Who Wants It?!”
Team Time is one of those things in camp that, in theory, seems like it should be the same from campus to campus, but in reality can be the most different. Some camps like to applaud real hard after a cheer, while some prefer to go right to the team representative. Some dance circles break it down to Vanilla Ice, while others like to “bust a move.” We all know that power acknowledgements can be all over the place.
I think the best part about Team Time though, is how it defines so much of what we do at SuperCamp. It’s about supporting each other and celebrating the common experience, while also completely loving all of the things that make us so different. It doesn’t matter if the team on stage has to start their cheer over three times before they get it, we still cheer for them for so awesomely using Failure Leads to Success.
From my perspective this past summer, Team Time helped define how different each camp was from the next. The way the kids in Singapore got funky on their dance circle was pretty different from Wake Forest, where half the time it was hard to figure out where the circle actually was because so many people were dancing at once. The Junior Forum homies at Loyola Marymount loved to “mix it up” at the end of the daily dance-off, while San Marcos couldn’t get enough of the “hand-clap dance” (what what!).
Brown, Stanford, Seattle, Chi-town, and Colorado – everyone had their own amazing Team Time traditions. It’s what made each camp its own.
Then again, we all have so much in common. Being up on stage, repping your team – that’s something that every single person who went to camp this summer got to do. Everyone had a chance to hop in a dance circle, to introduce a crazy new power whoosh, or to yell your team letter until the Facilitator chose you. These are experiences we all shared whether camp was in Toyon Hall (Stanford) or Hagget Hall (Seattle). It’s the kind of thing that makes someone stop you in the airport because you’re wearing an “I Feel Good” shirt (actually happened to me). We may have gone to different camps and shared different experiences, but we have all been impacted by SuperCamp and Quantum Learning.
Knowing that SuperCamp 2011 is still a ways away, what can you do at home to create shared experiences among your friends? They may have not gone to camp, but it’s very possible that they’d be interested in learning how to “mix it up.” Or maybe you can create your own new traditions with your friends – most of you probably already have (hint: they’re called inside jokes). These are the kinds of things that bring us closer to one another. Shared experiences equal closer friendships. Closer friendships equal fulfillment. Fulfillment equals motivation. And motivation equals getting what you want out of life.
Take a look at this video. What do you notice about these Team Times? What similarities and differences do you notice? Comment below about what you see.
Your task, if you choose to accept it: Post on the SuperCamp Facebook page about one of your favorite traditions at camp. It could be pretty cool to see how many “strangers” respond with stories similar to yours. As crazy as life outside of SuperCamp seems sometimes, it’s good to remember that we’re all in this together.