The Value of Tradition at Laurel South

The holidays are around the corner.  During this time of year, the word “tradition” gets thrown around a lot.  The word “tradition” is often confused with “routine.”  They’ve both become something that we do on a regular basis to establish or maintain a consistency or pattern in our behavior.  So, what really distinguishes “tradition” from “routine”?

Tradition is, by definition, community oriented.  It’s a shared custom, belief, or activity with a common understanding of the reason for its practice. Tradition is something that is a common bond between multiple generations.  It’s an acknowledgment that an event or action was significant to someone tied to our past, and the observance of traditions is our way of paying tribute to that event or action as well demonstrating our understanding of it.

Routine, unlike tradition, is not necessarily multi-generational or even long-term.  It’s something done for a specified length of time.  While we maintain some routines for all or much of our lives, others are short term. Routine is task oriented.  We take up routines to accomplish a goal.  There is an intended result in routine.  Tradition, however, is an observance.  Routine is a way of moving forward, whereas tradition pays tribute to the importance of the past.

By now, you’re surely asking yourself what any of this has to do with summer camp. In a culture that places a significant amount of importance on the establishment of routine, the value of tradition is increasingly less understood and appreciated.  Laurel South is grounded in tradition.  It’s a place where campers and counselors alike get refresher courses in the power of tradition.  Whether it’s singing at a campfire, the Camp Brother/Sister program or Spirit Day, there are so many opportunities every summer for those at Laurel South to bond through tradition.  Many former campers and counselors name “tradition” as one of their highlights of summer camp.  If tradition has become an element of holidays past, consider giving your children a future opportunity to experience and enjoy traditions at Laurel South.