My favorite part about camp? These past few years it has been hammocking. Now, you may wonder why. Why would I choose to sit around in a hammock when I have a whole camp full of things to do?
The answer is simple: It’s what makes me happy.
If I have learned anything from camp, it’s to do what makes you happy. Find your joy and let it fill you up, then spread that joy to others.
I love sitting in a hammock because I do it with my favorite people. Nothing is boring when you are with people you love. Sitting in hammocks is the perfect way to relax, while getting to have great conversation and learn from other people. It’s an environment where people let their guard down and makes conversations about life and love flow freely. Some of my best conversations have happened 10 feet up in a tree.
Sitting in hammocks at camp is what gave me the people who are now my closest friends. A couple of us happened to have the same hobby, and over time others who had sat in our hammocks with us got their own and joined us. We got to spend true quality time together. We had no phones at camp, just each others’ company. I think a lot of times we forget what it’s like to just sit and get to know someone. People are the greatest gift there is, and we have to remember to appreciate the people we have while they’re around.
Hammocking has taught me about relationships. It has taught me to care about people: what they have to say, what their dreams are, what their fears are, and so much more. Sitting for hours in total tranquility with another human being is a greatly undervalued activity in our world today.
It is important to have people in your life who will listen to your thoughts and love you for them. Having people who take common interest in things and encourage you to be a better person is what can make or break a person.
I also love my hammock because I can grab it and go. I can hammock wherever, as long as there are two trees and good company. Spontaneous adventure is better with people you love.
I have also found that taking my hammock and a buddy and heading off on a trail is my way to cope with stress. When I can’t handle busy weeks on campus, I get out in the sun on the weekend and just appreciate the a beautiful world and the beautiful people in it. Sometimes just sitting in silence and taking in the view is the peace a tired soul needs.
I hope that everyone can find what brings them joy and peace. I also hope it’s with people who bring joy and peace. Love and laughter may happen sitting in a sunny hammock for me, but everyone should have an outlet where they can just step out of the world for a moment. I have found how incredibly important it is to take care of your soul. You’ve only got one, so don’t wear it out. Fill it with joy, then when it’s full, fillother people’s with joy too.
Plus, who says hammocking is all relaxing? You’ve got to get up there somehow. The fun is often in the climb.