Culture is passed down over time

Vocabulary is a strange thing. When we add words to our lexicon, it helps us agree on what a concept or cultural phenomenon is.

The last few days (which have been the first few days of staff training) I have heard four or five of my “rules of camp” mentioned in the exact context they deserve to be in by counselors I know weren’t on staff when I introduced those rules in 2014.

Besides the pride that swells in my heart by knowing those have been added ot how people think, I also really like seeing the process of cultural change through vocabulary.

“Camp is for the camper”
“Say yes when possible”
“Assume best intentions”

Those three all made it onto our social contract this summer, without me mentioning them explicitly.

We also added the phrase “pumpkinface” to describe someone who shows up late to breakfast because they stayed up too late and turned into a pumpkin – minor shaming, silly, in good fun, but gets the point across to anyone late for things that it is not okay to be late. (a little woried of this turning sour by being a hazing thing, but I’l make sure to head it off if it goes in that direction)


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