The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

Make Magic, Do Good

Posted on by Jimmy Canton

In my role, I do lots of public speaking. And although I enjoy every opportunity to talk about The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, one of my favorite speaking gigs is when I address the summer staff at the end of their week-long orientation. It’s my opportunity to put into words what I think Hole in the Wall stands for, and to remind them of the sacred responsibility that they have to improve the lives of every child – and adult – with whom they interact. 

This summer, I also had the opportunity to integrate my thoughts with our summer theme– “Make Magic, Do Good”. What follows are the thoughts that I shared with 80 incredibly compassionate and mature young people – 40 percent of whom are former campers…HOW MAGICAL IS THAT! 

Magic is making the impossible possible. 

Our young campers confide in us, 

“Making friends is impossible for me”, 

“Seeing myself not limited by my illness is impossible for me” 

“Making it through my first sleepover at Camp is impossible for me” 

“Scaling a 40’ tower by myself is impossible for me” 

“Singing and dancing in front of 200 people is impossible for me” 

Magic is making the impossible possible. 

Make it possible for your campers to make new friends 

Make it possible for your campers to see how much more beauty and breath they have beyond their illness. 

Make it possible for your most homesick camper to feel safe enough to fall asleep in your cabin 

Make it possible for a child to scream with exaltation at the top of the tower – I DID IT! 

Make it possible for your campers to feel uninhibited enough to sing, dance and act their hearts out on stage. 

Make the impossible possible. 

Make Magic 

Good magic looks effortless, but you and I know that the magician has worked for hours honing that skill to make the act look effortless. You have 56 days to hone your skills, practicing every day throughout your day, the acts of selflessness, of patience, of safe play, of reading the needs of your campers before they can express them. Truly the opportunities for practice are infinite – well maybe not infinite – but if they happen every second of every hour you are awake for the next 56 days, you might have approximately 3,225,600 opportunities to practice your MAGIC. If practice makes perfect, you’ll emerge from this summer a bit more polished in the areas of love, play and overall good humanness than when you first arrived.