So camp is coming to a close. Today was our last full day at camp and tomorrow we go to start the RFL walk. We had our Friendship Night today. It’s a time where people are quiet and many of the counselors and campers give speeches. I considered doing it, but I couldn’t really get my thoughts together enough to make a short speech. Luckily, I have a blog where I can be wordy. 🙂
This has been probably one of the most incredible experiences of my SLife. I know that it might seem silly to others. I know there are people in Second Life who don’t understand the family community or kid avatars in general. For a long time, I was one of those people. Being fully immersed in something like this with kids…it wasn’t something I thought I’d ever do.
But being a mom in SL has helped me in so many ways. I can’t have children in RL although I have desperately wanted them. To be able to be some kind of mother, even if it is just in SL, has truly been healing for me. And even if sometimes I don’t feel like I’ve been the best SL mom, I know that maybe RL moms feel that way sometimes, too. When my sister said I needed to sign up as a counselor this camp since it is the last one they will do, I wasn’t sure how good of a counselor I would be. But I also figured that most of the counselors probably would feel that way too at some point, so I signed up.
Being around all these kids has been definitely fun! I knew it would be. After all, my kids and the kids in our family are pretty awesome. But what I didn’t expect is that it would be as inspiring as it has been. I didn’t expect that my heart would be so full. I didn’t realize that this was something I needed in my life.
Have I been the best counselor? Probably not. I’m pretty shy and not great at the whole RP aspect of things. Over the past week, it’s been so different for me. I am so very used to just being in my tiny family bubble where they all understand me and know my quirks and flaws and accept me anyway. But these campers…they pushed me out of the bubble and made me play and do things that maybe I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.
So first of all, thank you to Jill and Gattz Gilman. They are the creators of Camp Hardknock and I know that if not for them bringing everyone together every year none of this would happen. It’s because of their vision and hard work that this happens and so many people have the chance to play in such a safe place. Jill and Gattz are in the process of adopting a child in RL and I know that when they finally get their baby, that baby will not only be loved by them, but by an entire community.
To my amazing sister – You always seem to know what it is that I need in my SLife before I do. You pulled me into a family when I needed one. When I really didn’t think I was going to be a counselor, you convinced me to do it and who knew that’s what I needed? Obviously you did, because this week has been incredibly special and I have you to thank for it.
Big thank you to my fellow counselors! The veteran counselors totally helped me out when I had NO idea what I was doing, and the new counselors helped me ask questions that I might not have thought of before. And all of them were more than helpful every step of the way. Best team ever!
And the campers. Oh my gosh, what can I say about these campers? They are just the most amazing people I have met in SL. To be a kid avatar in a place that maybe doesn’t always get it is not an easy thing. When they are kids, they open themselves up to being hurt in ways that people in the “adult” circles cannot imagine. But yet the trust and love and pure joy I have seen this week is so beautiful. They’ve made me play in ways I really haven’t done in a long time. And if I was unsure of myself, they always made me feel like it wasn’t a problem, they just rolled with it until I learned how to do things the right way. I will miss them terribly when we go home, but because of them, I think I’ll go home a better SL mom.
You know, I took the week off from fashion blogging. Even if I’d wanted to, it would have been hard to find a place in camp where I could just stand on a posestand wearing some fancy outfit without kids running around. And also I would have missed out on interacting with people and that is definitely not something that I needed to do. Let’s face it, blogging can be a very solitary hobby. Although I do miss it [and have much to catch up on when we leave camp!], I think it was good for me to not be worried for a week about my clothes or my hair or if I have the latest and greatest things. It was good to just be myself in a place where everyone was just happy to be there.
At the heart of everything, Second Life is about the people in it, and the more you open your heart and your world to people, the better life – Second or First – can be.