With a bang and no whispers, the first session of ASCTC 2017 draws to a close.

For the last three weeks, we’ve been steeped in a world where the irreverent merriness of wacky dysfunctional family cannibalism struggles to coexist with the real horrors of humanity, and the damage we are capable of inflicting upon one another. We laughed, listened, and learned. The journey was rough sometimes; the conversations emotional and uncomfortable. But every single one of us (staff and campers alike) made it to the end with a little more empathy, a little more understanding, and a lot more love to put into this world of ours.

The time has come to say goodbye to Henry and Titus and Sea Voyage, but the work continues as we all try to move forward with love and compassion, willing to engage with empathy and listen to answers we may not expect to get or want to hear when we ask the hard questions. I could not be prouder of the work these 29 unique individuals allowed me to bear witness to, and I won’t soon forget it.

Of course, there’s no rest for the wicked! The Extended Experience Week campers are ready to start interning in the Marketing department tomorrow. Some campers are staying on from Session 1 while the Session 2 “early” arrivals showed up this morning to help us with the Festival — and, as you can see, with our session strike. (Topher is being oh so helpful.) We’re looking forward to a fruitful XXW and a fun lead-up into Session 2. I can’t wait to see what the next 37 individuals descending upon Staunton for the next session of ASCTC 2017 have in store for us.