It was exciting! It was exhilarating! It was exuberant! It was exceptional! It was … RMM’s Summer Overnight Leadership Camp! And this year, it was filled with Expectation! Every year, Camp has a theme, and in 2023, we challenged our campers to think about what they expect in life, and how those expectations can influence their experiences. Our Overnight Camp, for kids ages 8-17, is made possible by our generous donors, who bring this incredible experience to our youth each year. Returning to Holmes Camp once again, our campers, counselors, staff and volunteers spent an unforgettable week in a beautiful, woodsy environment, where fun and festivities reigned supreme. But, true to its name, Camp is also about leadership development and learning to speak truth to power. Our Youth Empowerment Program members led several workshops about working for change, and teaching the campers how important their voices are. At Vespers, we focused on the importance of fighting efforts to ban books in schools and libraries, and we had a daily presentation by counselors Olivia and Mason about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our Empowerment Group, consisting of our high school campers, took responsibility for planning and leading Vespers on the last night of Camp. There was learning and practice and work. And there was so much fun. There was an amazing performance by a dancer from Ghana; there was hula-hooping, rope-climbing, zip-lining and beach time. There was a special visit to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bedford, with ice cream and playtime, a visit with Bishop Heyd and Vespers in the woods. There was beading and jump rope and ball play and birthday cake. There was theatre and photography, painting and sign-making and hip-hop dancing. There was a blowout dance party, with Ziheem “Deejay Z” rousing us into a frenzy of energy. There was a scavenger hunt and an awesome newsletter by Mikaila. There were backpacks and school supplies. There were skinned knees and spiders, Stoop Time and Choice Time, cruisers and campfires, guitars and keyboards and congas. There was witnessing and quiet walks, hugs and handholding. There were visits by Board members and a talent show for parents. There was Hope and Justice and Empowerment. And then there was the food, so lovingly prepared by our own Chef D and his hardworking staff, Julius and Kiara and Deven. There was Richard and Tara and Sakima, and Nurse Robin (times two). There were phenomenal staffers and artists, counselors and volunteers — so many former campers themselves. There was magic and joy. There was So. Much. Love.