As I think about raising a child with my wife, I wonder what important values I will pass onto my new baby boy. As we set up his new room, one book jumped out at me as a clear example of the values that we wanted to pass on: The Giving Tree.
In The Giving Tree we witness the life of a boy and a tree. As the boy grows the tree gives him a place to play, apples to eat, shade to rest, branches to build a house and its trunk to build a boat. The tree gives selflessly to the boy and asks nothing in return. The act of giving in itself is what makes the tree happy. This is one lesson that I want to teach my new son – Altruism.
Camp Joy is also much like the “giving tree.” Our staff gives selflessly to the campers and asks nothing in return. We nourish the campers not only with food from our dining hall, but kind words and unconditional love. We give the campers places to climb and explore on our ropes courses and forests, but also the ability to explore their own imaginations and interpersonal interactions. As campers grow older Joy gives yet again through the ability to become a counselor and as these counselors grow they begin to continue the cycle of selfless giving and altruism. It is my definition of Joy and is the reason I do what I do and work where I work.
To live my values! – Jack Murphy