Potential Energy

There was a short-lived time when I thought I wanted to be a physicist. I sat in IB Physics during my Junior year of high school completely enthralled with all the talk of energy, gravity, force, and more.

If I were to try and describe camp in one word (impossible I know), I might use the word Energy. A palpable force exists in these hills when they are filled with the beating hearts and belting voices of nearly 300 young women each summer. It’s as if camp itself comes alive, and the distinction between people and place blurs as Illahee is overcome with aliveness and energy.

Eventually, the honeymoon phase of physics class subsided, and I learned quickly that my love for physics and energy was more of an appreciation for the best teacher ever (shout out to Mr. Corsetti at Broughton High) and less of my aptitude, ability, or even interest on the subject. Physics was hard.

Still, there was a formula that stuck with me over a decade later.

Total Mechanical Energy = Potential Energy + Kinetic Energy

If a ball were at the top of a ramp, its potential energy is high, but kinetic low. Once it starts to roll down the ramp, the potential goes down as the kinetic goes up. I say this because it feels as if we’re that ball, inching closer and closer to the ledge, ready to roll.

We’re about one month out from when staff arrive, and things are still rather quiet here. There is movement, don’t get me wrong. We’re assigning cabins and cleaning off all of the pollen and dust. The grass is getting mowed, new pine straw put out, flower planted, and gear is getting ordered. There is movement, there is energy, but it pales in comparison to what awaits us in just a few short weeks.

For now, it’s almost all potential energy. With each screw going into the new Tarzan rope-swing platform, I think of all the girls who will be swinging off of it; With each bike hung up in our new bike shed, I imagine how much fun these campers will have trying out mountain biking; With each coat of paint on our pickleball courts I picture myself right in the midst of a camper vs. counselor pickleball tournament match.

We’re getting ready for you all. There’s a lot of potential energy here.

One month till it turns kinetic.

And we cannot wait!