Own the Day: 9. A Sum of Moments

Photo Courtesy of Jenn Li 


Asked on a sunny Friday afternoon.

 Outdoor patio, over Happy Hour Drinks.

 “You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kinda thinking it’s the other way around. You know, like the moment seizes us.”

~ Richard Linklater, Boyhood Screenplay


To Listen:


A Walk-Through: A Sum of Moments – 100% Camp Related

I. Sunrise At The Lake

There’s this guy at camp

We call him Mista Bill

He comes every session

The camp’s first volunteer

Now he’s around 70 years old

Serves as the Grandpa for the youngest cabin

Probably makes about $12,000/yr

Mowing lawns.

He has a lawnmower lifestyle.


But he’s an amazing guy

With a very strange life

He holds a 6am session

Every morning out on the lake

All the counselors will bring a cup of coffee

And sit with him

Listen to his stories

Learn from him

And from each other.


II. Order of progression

  1. Put on a Trap Remix BLAST a
  2. Shake the beds and just terrify the kids b
  3. Take them to Woodshop c
  4. Breakfast d
  5. Clean Cabin
  6. 1st Activity e
  7. Lunchtime f
  8. Singing g
  9. Rest Hour h
  10. Stage Night and Dancing i
  11. Bedtime j


a. At full volume. 

b. In a good way of course. Gets them up.

c. So I don’t have to think so much.

d. Which is family-style, and basically a big dance party cause there’s a DJ there.

e. Pool, archery, a trip to the barn, or theatre, which is my personal favourite. It’s just ridiculousness the whole time.

f. Chillin’ time. No screaming or cheers allowed. The best lunch ever = Chicken Nuggets + Mac n’ Cheese.

g. Songs out of a camp-book and a counselor would play guitar.

h. The kids would all nap for a couple hours while the counselors set-up for the afternoon.

i. I was in charge of the audio equipment backstage. Kids would lip synch T-Swift, dress up in costumes, or do crazy awesome absurd dancing. They are just so creative, those kids.

j. All the counselors would stay up late planning for the next day. No sleep ever for us, but we didn’t mind. I wanted to know that I couldn’t have anything more for those kids.

III. The Fellowship

I think we had the best cabin name by far.

And the craziest one too.

We would dress all the kids up as hobbits.

Send them on a mission.

Most had no idea what they were doing.

It was great.

We all loved it.

IV. He Kept On Dancing

It was the last night of camp

He was the 2nd oldest camper there at 14 yrs old,

But an earlier stroke had changed everything for him.

His parents came up often to make sure that hydration happened

If not, he would collapse.

That last night he stood up, tall and proud,

In front of 80 people, and said,

 “I think I’m cool and a good dancer.”

And then he sat back down.

I had to leave the room because I remembered

One other night in late July

We’d held a dance party for all the campers

This kid was so special

He never had anything negative to say

Even though he struggled, he had so much to deal with

Developmentally and physically.

He liked to break-dance

We had a Pokemon Trap Remix on for him

And he was dancing away

But he started to fade, and just as he was about to give up

A group of boys from his cabin ran up and kept dancing with him

Encouraging him, keeping him going.

I’ll never forget it.

So when he stood up that last night to say,

“I think I’m cool and a good dancer.”

Everything made sense in that moment

This is why I do what I do.


Thank you:

Your passion for music is perhaps only outweighed

By your drive to make a difference

In the lives of those kids.

They are beyond lucky to know you.




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