Thanks to Annie Lundsten for an incredible Password for Big & Little Weekend this summer!
Fairy tales are rife with stories of people giving away their daughters in exchange for their heart’s desire. The miller’s daughter, desperate to escape a king’s wrath and become queen, promises Rumpelstiltskin her first born child in exchange for the ability to spin straw into gold. The baker and his pregnant wife, craving almost until death the taste of fresh vegetables, pledge their daughter (Rapunzel) to the witch next door for a taste of her beautiful greens.
I spent my first summer at Fleur de Lis the year I turned eight and stayed until the summer I turned sixteen. My time here was a gift that, even as child, I understood to be a gift. It was a present I looked forward to receiving all year long and it had many facets; freedom from the limitations of my everyday life at home, loving relationships with a powerful female community and a safe environment in which to build strength and independence in the person I was becoming.
By the time I and my Fleur de Lis friends made our way to the senior field at 14, we were already talking about the future generation of girls we would give to camp in exchange for these gifts. As we grew up and began to have children, each daughter’s arrival caused a flurry of excitement for what would, of course, be a future Fleur de Lis camper. We felt, instinctively, that the gift could in fact only be repaid by passing it on to someone else.
Today, as I stand here with my mother, my daughter and my niece, I offer the gift of Fleur de Lis to all of you. And I encourage you to give it freely and with joy to your daughter. I promise that it will spin her straw into gold.
The password for today is: GIFT