On the very last day of camp we do this thing called Pine Cone dedication. Every cabin finds the biggest, best pinecone they can and they all bring them to the campfire that night.
So…20 cabins each have their own pine cone and we bring them to campfire, um and so every cabin goes up one at a time with the kids and cabin counselors and all the other counsleors that like that cabin and we go around and, um, say who we want to dedicate the pine cone to.
So “the kids in the cabin” or “this counselor who we love” or “blue team” or anyone who we want to dedicate to um and all the counselors who are up with that cabin, they go down the line and they reveal their real name. And a lot of the time, the kids don’t remember it even though they always try to guess it. But they don’t call you that, a lot of the time, ‘cus they’ve been calling me Diglett all week
So we say, “Here people call me Diglett, but when I’m home and my mom gets really mad at me she calls me Andie.”
So all the counselors reveal their real names and all the kids go “I KNEW it” but they totally didn’t (laughs).
So …we go through all of the cabins…all 20 cabins do that.
And then you throw the pine cone in the fire when you’re done. And we have this song that you sing and then everyone’s done and goes back to there seat. And we have this song called Purple Lights and two counselors come up with a guitar and everyone sings it with them.
And we have this special clap that we do and everyone goes like this (shakes hands back and forth- like jazz hands) and what we’re doing is like reflecting the fire back at each other. We say we’re reflecting the light of the fire back to our friends.
The counselors lead the song so they sing a line, and then the kids sing a line and that’s how you learn it.
Context: The informant, my roommate, is very involved with Troy Camp and was eager to share some of what makes the organization so special. This ritual takes place every summer, but this was the first time she had explained it to me. I already knew, however, that they all have “camp names” and hers is Diglett. Each name has a story, usually embarrassing behind it.
Thoughts: Troy Camp is such a tight-knit group and so it did not surprise me that they had a lot of traditions and rituals in their organization. This one, in particular, concludes the week of the actual camp very nicely.