|A Bridge Between Us All|
By Joe Riendeau 2005
There are many experiences that we endure in our life, all of which have some affect on us, whether good or bad. These experiences exist as a series of consecutive events that come together to form our own, individual lives. Though we each live our own lives and have our own pleasures and obstacles, we do share some with others. Summer camp is one of those experiences that is not only unique because it takes individuals and makes them share their lives with one another, but it also needs the interaction, the cooperation, and the shared livelihood between individuals to work.
As a scout is driven through Camp Squanto’s gate on a given sunny Sunday afternoon, he looks forward to the week ahead. Whether a new scout or a veteran to camp, he relishes in stories from years past and hopes that his stories from the coming week will be as lively and as popular around the campfire later on. Leaving his parents and the outside world behind, a first year camper joins his troop – all of whom he knows. Looking around however, he realizes that hundreds of other scouts are arriving as well. Like him, they are looking at the week ahead with optimism and excitement.
That night at the opening campfire, the scout glances around in awe at the amount of people at the amphitheatre singing in unison to a song that will never grow old in the hearts of those who have attended Camp Squanto. The song is the camp’s song, Squanto Will Shine.
Never before has this new scout heard the words to the song, but the camp administration leads the entire camp population in two verses. By the second verse, the scout is singing. He is not singing because he wants to conform to the rest of the crowd, nor is he singing to impress anyone. He is singing for himself. Something inside of him involuntarily urges him to sing along.
While the Spirit of Squanto can mean different things to different people, it doesn’t mean any less to one person than another. For the veteran camper who sings the song in an amiable state as he remembers his previous years, it is important for him to recall all the great memories from those years. Those memories, intertwined with the many other scouts that are at camp with him, help to create the Spirit of Squanto for him. The Spirit is something that connects us all. The new scout, hopeful for the coming week and waiting for the new experiences that he will surely endure, sings, for he wants to start his week off right He already has the Squanto Spirit within him.
The Spirit of Squanto exists as a bridge between all who come to Camp Squanto, uniting them in a unique brotherhood that can only exist between people that have shared the same experience: summer camp at Camp Squanto. Whether you were on of the original founders of Camp Squanto, took part in the Feast of Mondamin, were a member of the Squanto Braves, or attended your first week of summer camp this year, you were entered into a brotherhood. This brotherhood is made possible by the Spirit of Squanto. Words can hardly describe the connection we all share with one another, but it is something we all feel inside.
From old stories told of the camp, its staff, the pranks, the campfires and the hardships, you’ll see that although times change and people change, Camp Squanto really hasn’t. It is that truth that connects us all through the Spirit of Squanto. The Spirit of Squanto, a link from every camper or staff member who set their foot down at Squanto in the past to the current staff and campers, is visible throughout camp still. Whether you take note of all those solemnly singing the words to Squanto Will Shine at a closing campfire, the camaraderie between staff, or former staff members returning to contribute to the camp in any way they can, we realize that it is not simple generosity nor commonplace friendship that ties them all together, but rather, a unique and amazing gift absorbed by those who pass through the gate of Camp Squanto. This gift is the Spirit of Squanto.