William Lawrence Camp Spirit
Willingness, Loyalty, Comradeship and Sportsmanship
At William Lawrence, we believe that our primary goal of our residential boys camp is not fun, but learning. Fun, instead, is a byproduct of that learning. Our mission statement, as well as our slogan “Building character since 1913” are not just words, but a way of life here at camp. We teach many life skills at William Lawrence and each is tempered with the four cornerstones of our camp philosophy of WLCS. This stands for Willingness, Loyalty, Comradeship and Sportsmanship, nicknamed the William Lawrence Camp Spirit. Each activity, each game, each experience has WLCS woven in.
Willingness is a conscious decision to stand up and lend a hand. When asked for a volunteer, the willing boy steps forward. He performs any task with enthusiasm, not with half-heartedness. He devotes himself to the task and sees it through to its end, and encourages others to do the same. At William Lawrence, Willingness is the first cornerstone of WLCS. The leaders we strive to create, meet every challenge with willingness. We encourage each camper to approach their lives and everything they do with joy, excitement and dedication.
Loyalty is standing by your friends, family and principles, even when it might be unpopular to do so. Loyalty can often be socially demanding and requires stamina, but without loyalty, a person may go through life with no allies. Loyalty to one’s ideals is also important. If you change yourself to please the group, eventually you will have no identity. At camp, loyalty is the second cornerstone of WLCS. Loyal and true are the boys of white and blue. Loyalty is a large component in building the William Lawrence Camp family.
It’s true that comradeship means being a friend to both friend and stranger by making him laugh, making him smile and bringing cheer to where there may have been none. However, comradeship moves beyond being kind to your buddy. When a man has wronged another, or sent him down the wrong path, a true friend will step in and tell him “you are in the wrong, you need to make it right”. Sometimes the people that challenge us the most are the ones who need our friendship. At William Lawrence Camp, Comradeship is our third cornerstone. In building the leaders of tomorrow, Comradeship plays a large part of our community. At camp, we celebrate random acts of kindness to our fellow camper and attempt to be a friend to all.
Sportsmanship in the game is playing your hardest. The sportsman plays fair, plays for the enjoyment of the game with enthusiasm and vigor. When things don’t go his way, the sportsman accepts it and moves on. Sportsmanship is bolstering teammates, especially after they have made mistakes. At the end of the game, win or lose, the good sport congratulates the other team and thanks them for the competition that day. However, sportsmanship only just begins when you step off the field. Sportsmanship in life is following the golden rule. Do onto others as you wish others to do onto you. As in this world, we are all on the same team. Sportsmanship is our fourth WLCS cornerstone. At camp, the only person you truly play against is yourself and a game is not played for the outcome, but for the journey.