For nearly two decades, I have been attending Midwest Unitarian Universalist Summer Assembly, a summer UU family camp. Formerly known as Lake Geneva Summer Assembly for over six decades, MUUSA has been in a state of transition for the past half a decade or so. Five years ago marked our last summer at Lake Geneva, the following year was a transitional year where we discussed the location of the camp’s future, and these past four summers have been spent at the YMCA of the Ozarks, our supposed new home for our religious community. This transition was quite difficult for many people, some of whom have not been able to come back because of the pain of leaving the great tradition of LGSA. But, with four summers in Potosi now behind us and some prominent campers returning for the first time this year, I am interested in examining where we stand today in this ongoing search for building a new era for our camp.
I can not speak for everyone’s experiences at MUUSA, just my own. As a member of the young adult community, I know first hand what it is like to lose community. Not one person in my bridging year still comes to camp. The same is the case for the three consecutive years older than me. This may be a commentary on the complex schedules and demands of young adults, but I think it more has to do with the fact that these years bridged around the time of LGSA’s demise. These campers had not experienced the amazing youth programs of Meyer and Burt, as they exist today at MUUSA. The YA programming that they may have experienced consisted of mainly drinking and sleeping in for most of the morning. This does not constitute much incentive to stick around as the camp began to deteriorate and move 9 hours south. Read the rest of this entry
A couple days ago, I commented on the state of transitions in this country, namely how we, as a collective people, view and prepare for changes in our lives. In that article, I discussed some concerns I had about how our social structure fails to embrace this change and effectively prepare individuals who are going through transitions, ranging from coming of age to graduation to death. My hope is to reflect in this article on ways to make this transition more beneficial for all.
I write this as I just completed my last final exams at DePaul just over an hour ago. It is a time of great transition in my life and therefore this topic is of personal importance, as well. The concern I have with the issue at hand is that I feel that the transitions we face in life our not fully being embraced and recognized in all of the beauty and complexity they possess. It is an odd occurrence because innovation and change is appreciated and encouraged quite a lot in the marketplace in this country.
I woke up Friday morning quite distressed to the remnants of a dream that was slowly being enveloped by the reality of the environment around me and the comfort of loved ones refreshing me to the new day. But, I was still sad, crying even, at times without end, an experience both rare and frightening upon reflection. While the substance of the dream may have been slightly unrelated to the substance that I was upset about, and while the feelings, the tears, have now relinquished and evaporated from my face and heart, I still feel an odd need to reflect on those emotions that came from this dream a few mornings ago.
The dream was about Hattie’s maternal grandparents, but mainly her grandfather Phil who if you ever have the blessing of meeting him you will find him to be a funny and gracious man, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. In the dream, Phil was pretty sick and it was taking a toll on me, although I was surrounded by his family and loved ones. There was not much more content to the dream besides that because I recall waking up with tears flowing down my cheeks and a deep whole growing in the place where the memories of my maternal grandfather never fully blossomed.