It was a hot summer day at a summer camp for young children. The summer camp counselors are calling out to all kids to gather around to try the first round of activities. Children ranging from the age of 7 to 9 gathered about a tree where something that looked like a clothes hanger is dangling about from a thick metal wire tied in between a tree at a higher elevation and a tree at a lower elevation. It appeared that the children were going to be putting their little hands on the T-shaped hanger and dangle from one tree to the other. There was a curious and exciting energy in the air as the children gatherd around this metal “clothes hanger”, eagerly awaiting their turn to give it a try — all except one little girl standing few feet away from the group. One by one, the little girl watched every other kid in the group have their turn at dangling from tree to tree, giggling and screaming from the excitement of this adventurous activity. Once everyone has had their turn, all eyes were on the little girl as the only person who has not had a turn at dangling on the metal clothes hanger. The camp counselor walked over to the little girl and said, “May, would you like to give this a try?”
Feeling scared and embarrassed now that all eyes were on her, she said, “No, I don’t want to try…”
“Why not?” said the camp counselor, “it is really safe, look at how much fun everyone else is having.”
“NO! I said I don’t want to try!”the little girl said with tears now streaming down her face. She can’t change her mind now even if she wanted to try, everyone has now turned their attention to May, looking at her and watching the little girl sobbing away.
“Alright May, you don’t have to try if you don’t want to.” With that said, the camp counselor turned around and got all the kids to proceed for their second run.
The summer camp lasted for three days, and since that first incident with the metal clothes hanger, little May was reserved throughout the entire camp, refusing to do one activity after another. She was gloomy and uncomfortable sleeping inside the little tents and seemingly made up her mind that she was having a terrible time.
On the final hour of the summer camp, the parents began showing up to pick up their kids. Little May’s mother was quite surprised to have picked up a gloomy child while her twin sister was beaming with excitement.
“What’s wrong May?” Her mother asked.
“Nothing’s wrong mommy.” Little May replied.
“Yeah right!” said little May’s twin sister, “she was such a whimp and didn’t want to try anything!”
“No I wasn’t!” Little May snapped at her sister.
“Yes you were!” Her sister snapped back.
“NO, I wasn’t!”
“Yes you were!”
After returning home, little May could not help feeling empty deep down inside, as if she had missed something. She began crying and singing the camp song non-stop and her twin sister Angel joined in too. For a whole week after the three day summer camp was over, little May and her twin sister sang the camp song over and over while crying and missing the good times they’ve had.
It has been twenty years since the summer camp and little May is all grown up; but she cannot help wishing that she had tried everything at that summer camp — especially that damn metal clothes hanger…