Greetings from Kamaji! In this day and age, we hear so much about heroes; usually, these are folks who are athletes like tennis pro Serena Williams, soccer player Mia Hamm, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi or downhill Lindsey Vonn; or public figures including First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, television personality Oprah or Harry Potter author Joanne Rowling. Now and then, we will read in the newspapers about heroes and heroines who risk their lives to save another – perhaps a fireman, a policewoman or an innocent bystander who becomes a good Samaritan for a moment. We think of how courageous a particular heroine might be; what a superstar a particular athlete must be; what an idol that rock star or actress is; what a role model that world leader is! Because of their status, we are dazzled by these heroes/heroines and often find ourselves straining to get a glimpse of them in person (should their paths cross ours) or read about them in the latest issue of People magazine. Sometimes we even fantasize about being that particular person. In truth, most of us probably have never personally met a real-life hero!
WRONG! Ye Directors know for a fact there are many heroines at Kamaji. They are not written up in the news-papers; they are not given ticker-tape parades; they don’t get paid whopping salaries; they might not be glamorous; they’re likely not full-grown yet; heck they probably don’t even realize they are heroines. They might not recognize that what they do or say does impact another Kamajian’s life. They certainly may not realize how many lives they actually touch . . . what a difference they make . . . how important they are . . . what a role model, an idol, a star they’re perceived to be . . . that they are truly heroines in our self-contained summer world called Kamaji.
This heroine may come in the form of a Kamaji counselor – maybe a swim instructor who helped a camper overcome her fear of the lake; perhaps a riding instructor who gently encouraged a camper to get back on a horse after a fall; could be a drama instructor who convinced a camper she had what it takes to get up on stage and sing for the first time; or the cabin counselor who offered advice on how to resolve a problem with a cabin mate. Maybe the heroine is a tribe leader who assured a member that she had not let her tribe down on Tribe Day or who patiently taught a new camper all the words to all the tribe songs. Maybe the heroine is a Kami Sister who forgoes the companionship of her camp friends on the bus trip to camp just so she can sit with her new Kami Sister and make her feel welcomed and special. The heroine could even be another camper who takes the time to go out of her way to make a not-so-sure-of-herself camper feel included in the cabin group.
Yes – heroines come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all walks of life. A Kamaji heroine will probably never be featured in a tabloid, she won’t make the cover of Vogue magazine, she won’t go down in history . . . but she will be no less important and, in all likelihood, she will be far more loved, more emulated and long remembered after the so-called “real life heroes” of today are forgotten.