Our final hours of camp began at midnight while we were still dancing up a storm in the dining hall. When the music stopped, we dispersed to all sorts of activities that included sports with cellphone flashlights, hanging out, talking, sharing songs and stories, and doing magic tricks around the campfire and in our cabins, playing games, and more.
Although the campfire burned until sunrise, many of us burned out before then and fell asleep for a few hours.
At our usual breakfast time, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast intended to sustain us through the afternoon as we travel back to Vilnius.
Yesterday, we’d cast our ballots for the campers we believe are the most sociable, most creative, most improved in their English skills, and most accomplished in other categories. So, this morning’s program began with fun as we congratulated the winners.
Next up was the “reveal” of our secret friends who provided us with notes and small gifts throughout the week. It was fun to discover their identities! Most of us had a difficult time guessing.
Finally, with paper taped to our backs and markers in our hands, we walked around the room and wrote compliments and best wishes for each other. We will read these after we board the bus – and certainly for years to come as we recall the lessons we learned at Democracy Camp, the friends we made, and the stereotypes and “walls” we broke down. Each of us has enlarged our Universe of Obligation. We have learned to be upstanders. When we read news or hear comments about Lithuania, Poland, or the USA, we will think first of our friends and the shared humanity and values we treasure and protect.
Thank you to EVERYONE who made this Democracy Camp possible and who made each of us feel welcomed and valued. We have laughed. We have cried. We have learned invaluable lessons and leadership. It is difficult to pack our luggage and leave our camp friends.
So, let’s not say goodbye, but see you later!