Now Boarding Zone One – The unseen value of a Traditional Camp Experience
My daughter and I were flying to Chicago out of Minneapolis recently and I was reminded (again) just how stratified our daily lives have become. It starts from the beginning of the travel process and continues throughout the journey. Two lines to check-in and check our bags- 1st Class, Gold and Platinum members one way, Regular Joe’s, the other. On to security where in Minneapolis there are three possibilities: Pre, Regular and a pay for play option called ‘Clear” where you are able to get escorted to the front of the line by a sort of valet.
Don’t get me wrong. I have been fortunate enough to get bumped up to the fast lane from time to time and it can be sublime, but I don’t fly enough to garner any special treatment on a regular basis. Sometimes it seems that more travelers than not have status and that the Pre line is often longer than the regular line. And, have you ever seen a Million Miler plant him or herself right at the head of the line to board the plane as if somehow the folks at the head of the plane depart before the rest of us?
I know full-well that many of these road warriors have logged long hours, endured countless sales junkets and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on air travel for the right to board the plane first and have a few more inches of leg room. It is not so much that they don’t deserve it, it’s the message that it conveys to the rest of the travelling public that somehow we are less than deserving of these niceties.
One of the great things about a Camp Mishawaka experience is that it is a great leveler. There are not two lines for sign up. No camper has platinum status that puts them to the head of the food line, or concierge treatment. Everyone enjoys the same opportunity, the same access, and garners the same treatment- whether it’s your first year or your 8th. At every turn we remind campers that they are valued for who they are, not what they have done and that everyone has the opportunity to pursue their interests in a supported environment. And, that there is so much “overhead space” – blue skies, pine trees and possibility at Camp that no one need to fear about running out.
A traditional summer camp experience comes with its own rewards. Come fly the friendly skies with us soon.