If you’re from the state of Alabama, there’s a good chance you have watched at least one University of Alabama football game. And if you have, there’s also a good chance you have seen something a little strange on the sideline after an exceptional defensive play. At every Alabama football game, a WWE belt floats around, passing from the hands of coaches to the hands of worthy players. That sideline is full of the best of the best, but they still acknowledge those that go above and beyond. It’s a part of their culture to do better than their best and to recognize good, hard work.
Like the University of Alabama, Sawyerville Day Camp is full of traditions, and as we embarked on our twenty-fourth summer, we thought it was about time we start a new one. Taking a page from the University of Alabama’s book, we decided to award our own “Ball Out Belt” to the counselor in each camp that went above the call of duty in service, attitude, helpfulness, love, hard work, or just about anything else. There is no doubt in our minds that we have the best and the brightest on staff every summer here at Sawyerville, but any staff member could attest to the positive effect that the exceptional work of another has on them. The SDC staff is as much a team as the one wearing crimson and white standing on the sideline on Saturday afternoons is, and we so appreciate those that go above and beyond for this team.
So, a new tradition was born during Session 1. Each night in camp meetings, the coordinators and staff determined who will win the Ball Out Belt for being a baller that day. Then, at the end of staff worship, the belts were awarded. There were cheers and drumrolls and dramatic readings about the merit and characteristics of a Ball Out Belt recipient. Stories of wonderful work were told, and pictures were taken. The next day, the ballers wore their belts proudly around camp until handing it over to the next recipient that night.
The Ball Out Belt was been a whole lot of fun this summer, as well as an important symbol. It served as a “thank you” for all the hard work that goes into making camp a success. It acted as a motivator, to encourage everyone to go above and beyond. And it stood as a symbol of a “better than your best” culture, a culture Sawyerville strives to have every single day.
The certificate reads,
“You are among the first of many lionhearted champions of Sawyerville Day Camp. Your send of duty and commitment today and every day has set the precedence for years of greatness. You have paved a golden path for the parade of mighty counselors that will strive to follow in your exemplary behavior. With the grace of a gazelle and the strength of a raging fire, you proved your abilities as a leader in the way you showed love to your campers and fellow counselors today. Your character and might pierced through the sweat and rose above the heat of this day. Men and women like you are the backbone of this band of brothers and sisters. You have been given the privilege to wear the Ball Out Belt because of your fortitude today, but with great honor comes great responsibility. You must honor the gravity of this symbolic gesture. Go forth and continue to uphold and defend the covenant with your life as is your duty and destiny. Continue to prove through word and action that not all heroes wear capes, but that the great ones wear belts.”