If you’re confused about the title of this month’s blog, check out Lonehollow’s latest post on Instagram.
Part of our mission at Lonehollow is to build lasting relationships with our community. And while a big aspect of summer camp is taking the time to unplug and reconnect, we do make a conscious effort throughout the year to engage with the Lonehollow community online.
In 2017, we started a tradition of announcing BIG NEWS via social media back when we revealed that Work Crew would be replaced with the new Leader-in-Training program in 2018. The first post evoked so much enthusiasm and excitement about camp that we continued BIG NEWS whenever we could, teasing announcements such as new classes and crew leader reveals for the upcoming summer.
Earlier this week, Lonehollow announced via social media that BIG NEWS was coming soon. On Wednesday, we posted a picture of a brand new cabin we’re building for the Treehouse (8th-11th grade) boys and asked our followers for name suggestions.
Someone suggested the name Leaf Hut and in typical social media fashion, the Lonehollow internet community ran with it. Campers of all ages, from across the state and across the summer, left comments begging, demanding, and pleading with us to name the cabin Leaf Hut.
Inside jokes are a pretty regular occurrence during the summer, so those of us in the office weren’t sure if we’d missed something or if the kids were referencing a TV show or a meme that hadn’t crossed our screens yet. Either way, we were baffled, not only at the Leaf Hut suggestion, but also at how many campers commented on the post.
The day went on and the suggestions continued, including Mountain Ridge, Base Camp, and Denali. But it wasn’t long before a new movement began to name the cabin Blundy after a current Lonehollow camper (a combination of his first and last names), sparking more engagement among campers.
As our followers continued to campaign for Leaf Hut and Blundy in the comments, another Lonehollow camper and Treehouse boy reached out to us with a direct message, expressing his concerns about the cabin name and offering up Yosemite as another option.
“Please do not choose Leaf Hut,” he wrote. “I feel the proper naming should come from a boy such as myself with the idea of Yosemite who has gone through multiple Treehouse sessions. Yosemite compliments El Cap [another Treehouse cabin] as a National Park and is an adequate name for a Treehouse. Leaf Hut took [us] by surprise and the boys came together to try to put forth a more appropriate name for the cabin.”
Reading this message brought us so much joy. We were bewildered and perplexed by the Leaf Hut suggestion, but also amused by the whole phenomenon. We were glad that our campers were having fun with it and engaging with us, but for a camper to express such genuine care and concern for the name of a cabin in which he might not even live this summer was a sweet reminder of why we do what we do.
Lonehollow has created something that kids truly care about. This camper felt such a sense of pride and ownership over the Treehouses, a place where he has laughed with his friends, overcome his fears, and made lifelong memories, that he was compelled to message us directly and express his concerns respectfully. We can’t take credit for this camper’s eloquence, but we can (and will!) marvel at his sincerity and courage.
We haven’t made any decisions just yet, and we still have to consider the suggestions that came from Facebook, but for now we want to say thank you.
To everyone who commented on the picture, thank you for taking the time to engage.
To the camper who suggested Yosemite, thank you for showing us how much Lonehollow means to you.
And to all the Leaf Hut and Blundy voters, thank you for reminding us that camp is supposed to be silly and fun and a place where anything is possible.