Last fall, I started working for Campus Ministry at Georgetown, and learned that Legos are a great tool for building interfaith relationships. During finals, a Jesuit priest and a Methodist chaplain hosted a study break dubbed “’Laxing with Legos”, and I got to take home my very own X-Wing Fighter that I’d built instead of writing my philosophy paper. One month later, I sat with a group of counselors in the basement of St. James’s Episcopal Church, planning out stations for the camp reunion the next day. Paris pulled out a gigantic box of Legos and, naturally, I volunteered to run that station.
I’m not quite sure what I expected as I sat on the floor that Saturday, surrounded by several square feet of piled-up Legos. Perhaps I anticipated the sports camp dynamics I had grown used to: competition, teamwork, fairness. Or perhaps I was picturing my college study break of fellow students discussing their upcoming finals. Somehow the image of a collision of first- and second-session-aged boys – chaos plus extensive fandom knowledge plus a dash of body odor – hadn’t crossed my mind. And yet here they came, sprinting for the Legos. And there I sat, drawing from whatever OOCCing experience with boys’ cabins I’d had the past summer, simultaneously trying to remember how to relate to fellow introverts.
But that was exactly it: the motley crew of boys (and one girl), from all over spectrums of age and social interaction, from different camps and different social circles. I was thrilled to spend some time with a few of my sports campers, but I also was able to meet other campers that I wouldn’t necessarily get a chance to meet on the mountain. Not everyone in this group was the most outgoing, but bridging that hesitance reminded me of the one camp reunion I attended as a camper, too shy to mingle in a group without my friends, and thus very focused on my arts and crafts. It’s easy to bond when you’re all helping each other find the perfect Lego among an entire copy-paper box full. It’s easy to find common ground among Star Wars and Harry Potter and science and space vehicles. And so we did.
Sure, building friendships with Legos is a great pun, but what I really want to communicate about this experience is the unique role the camp reunion was able to play in cultivating friendships where they otherwise may not have existed. Be that because of the ability of the campers to interact with people from other camps, or the different dynamic that indoor games carry, or a true testament to how wonderful our campers are to one another, I remember feeling that such moments show just how inclusive is the Body of Christ.
The 2016 Shrine Mont Camps Reunion is on Saturday
January 10th, 2017 at St. Mary's Arlington from 1-4:30pm.
Email Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org with any
questions or click here for more information.