I find inspiration and motivation in all the usual places; friends, family, Pinterest. The thing that motivates me the most though is words of affirmation. I love getting handwritten notes, sweet texts, blog comments, e-mails...words are my love language.
We have a tradition at camp called "Warm Fuzzies", each staff member has a 'mailbox' that hangs on the wall as you go up the stairs to the counsellors' sleeping quarters. During the summer everyone writes encouraging notes to each other and drops them in the mailbox resulting in little pick me ups and acknowledgment of jobs well done randomly throughout the summer. Warm Fuzzies is one of my favourite camp traditions, I save everyone I've ever gotten. At the camp I grew up at we did Warm Fuzzies even as campers and even those are tucked away neatly in my closet. I fully admit to dumping out my envelope from time to time during the year and reading through the notes to give myself a bit of a pick me up.
Everyday we do something called Cabin Inspection, an
intense friendly competition between the cabins to keep their space neat & tidy and earn points towards Cabin of the Week. Occasionally Cabin Inspection also includes some bribery in the form of chocolate & "love notes". I proudly display most of those on the bulletin board behind my desk in the office and then they come home with me to be added to the summer's scrapbook. The note above is from one of the sweetest campers who comes to our camp for adults with intellectual disabilities. The list below was made by an entire cabin of adult campers with a physical disabilities and is a Top 10 List of reasons why the director and myself are awesome. My favourite is #7, because matching clothes are fun!
I'm so thankful for my job and the opportunity to work with so many wonderful staff and campers. And for these reminders to keep me motivated and inspired to work hard and help make camp a magical place.