This year I not only attended CloudCatcher, but I spent a year on the organising committee ensuring that the Camp would happen. There was an interesting and discernable contrast between the two Camps, not only due to the difference in stories and theme, but in the level of engagement and ultimately what I took away from it.
One or two people commented on how I had changed from one Camp to the next – something of a greater self-assurance and presence. I hadn’t really thought about it too much personally, but when I recalled my first Camp some memories of a shy, daunted figure emerged, recklessly tearing about the lawns but hesitant in any human interaction; indeed it seemed a far cry from the wild being leaping about now, whose role involved ensuring the Campers were happy and settled, that budgets and monies were balancers, that the venue managers were okay and that generally all needs were met, and thus must embrace a kind of leadership and easy camaraderie that in the past often eluded me in prolonged social settings.
I think however maintaining such a diverse range of mental tasks took slightly from my ability to drop into the Camp in a truly immersive way, and yet in many ways did not hinder in way an ability to drop into myself in an immersive way. I learned a lot about myself and about various aspects in my personality and skills that I too often impose a rigid and restricting modesty upon, for fear of seeming arrogant or overbearing. It is a fear not entirely unfounded, but I found new ways to embrace and express it. And I also found I truly love serving. Being a camper was great, but I slip so often into idleness and uncertainty. With extra roles and responsibilities, a lot of my natural anxiety and uncertainty fell away, and over the course of the weekend attending to many varied needs, found a new perspective on the ability to feel joy while in service to my community.