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  • Jack Hager

The Obligatory Campfire

This summer begins my 39th summer of camp speaking. WHAT? Yeah, almost four decades.

I’m not a numbers guy, so I have no idea how many different camps I’ve had the joy of speaking at, nor how many were in the collective audiences.

I do feel that every camp had one “event” in common.

The end-of-week campfire. Teens, counselors, staff gathered around a bonfire; singing; and giving all an opportunity to share.

Done well, it is a good thing. Done poorly (however unintentionally), it becomes an “I can top that” thing or a place of hurt, as in every one applauds every speaker…except one.

One of my favorite movies is “Glory.” If you’ve not seen it, do so. It’s historically pretty accurate, features some of my favorite actors (to include number one, Denzel), and is simply well done.

It features a campfire.

The scene is one of my all time favorites, with one of my all time favorite lines…I shared the line with about 80 guys at Crossroads Correctional a couple days ago; where there has been some tough stuff happen and, as a maximum-security prison, is more tense than usual. The line? “Let my people know that I went down, standing up.”

Enjoy:

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