After Summer Challenge – Now What?

I remember sitting in front of the set of “Camelot” the night we closed the house after our two week run of production. A junior in high school, I had just learned a lesson about the rewards of hard work and commitment. It was a magical experience – creating this two hour musical with forty other completely dedicated people. I was emotional, I was tired, I was proud, and I felt a sudden void I couldn’t name. After weeks of being intensely connected and purpose driven, I sat next to one of my good friends and was left with overwhelming memories, a few photos, and the set we were about to dismantle.

So here I am at 37, having just wrapped up another very intense, powerful experience of Summer Challenge 2009. I am again tired, proud, and emotional for the effort extended and the bonds made. It is often on days like this, after the crowd has cleared out and the set is being dismantled that I wonder, “What next?” (A nap is on the agenda.) I don’t think I am alone in this feeling though. Faculty and students will take the upcoming days and weeks to process the experience and apply the lessons.

What I know now that perhaps I did not know at 17 is that feeling drained like this is a wonderful feeling that comes from a job well done and from creating intimate connections with others. I like knowing I’ve put my heart into my job and that those around me have done the same.

The students of SC09 should be immensely proud of their effort, of the growth they made, of the relationships forged. This was a unique group of students who created a wonderful, positive community. While not all of us will be together again, we can reconnect to the spirit of SC09 through applying what we learned and jumping into new endeavors with the same energy, commitment, and openness as was shown these past four weeks.

I look forward to seeing many of the students and families again here at Hyde and for those not returning, I trust that life will provide crossroads at which we will meet again….
Best, John

P.S. Check out the final slide show again: