In my first year as a camp counselor, I taught an elective course right after rest hour. This period was typically a nonsports activity like arts and crafts, archery, or waterfront. I was in the camp craft department (camping/rock climbing and ropes course), but asked to create a slightly different experience for the kids.
I pitched the class, “Philosophical Ramblings,” to my friend and owner of the camp, Eric Scoblionko, who said, “sure, go for it.”
We had 3 kids from my bunk, all 8 year olds, sign up for the first class. We laid on the grass and looked at the sky. We discussed whether they would rather be a blade of grass in the field or a singular cloud floating overhead. I’d ask if they thought there was life on other planets and if they wanted to live forever. They asked me questions too which I answered honestly. Their minds were open, thoughtful, and curious.
It’s funny that these exact questions are still some of the ones I find interesting to ask myself and friends today. It’s also interesting to realize that even if the questions don’t change, the answers do.
I was a different person at 17 than I am today. I was more impatient. I was more self-centered. I was certainly more insecure. But then, as I do now, I liked to question things. Curiosity mixed with a scientific skepticism has always been my way.
Now, however, it takes a little more effort to challenge my beliefs, world view and sense of reality and purpose. I probably need to spend some more time lying on the grass and looking at the clouds.
Philosophical Ramblings never got more than 8 kids, and I was just fine with that. I’d rather connect with a few minds deeply than just scratch the surface with many.
If you want to connect with me, I’ll be in the park today after nap time.