Ed’s Corner

A Grand Moment

Did you ever have something happen to you that you knew was pretty special while it was happening and afterwards, maybe hours or even days later, you thought about it some more and decided that it was not just special but completely mind-blowing and amazing!?

A few years ago my oldest son, Daniel decided that he would like to join me in operating and directing The Nature Place Day Camp, a business I started more than 30 years ago. When he was very young he was a camper, loved every piece of it. Aging out as a camper, he worked as a counselor and activity leader for quite a few summers. Then he graduated college, became an active musician and did other jobs along the way.

Father and son

We had talked some years before about him coming to work for camp but that earlier conversation really didn’t lead anywhere. Time went by, we talked again about the same topic, my needs and his needs perhaps were a better match this time, and he joined the camp. Changes were happening within the camp (one of the big ones was called Recession Time) and he stepped up, took hold of what he needed to and has helped the camp grow again.

You might just imagine that father and son working together could at times be, shall we say, frictional. Yes, there were those times. And we still continue to work through some of those rough spots. But generally, especially this last summer camp season, we were right on with each other, respected what the other did, supported each other, laughed, shared the same goals, and worked our butts off – together. And it was a great season in so many ways. Sharing this with anyone is great, but with my son, my first-born, I am so fortunate. How many fathers get a chance to do this?

And how many get a chance to do what I’m about to tell you next? 

Our camp is located at the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, NY. This is the second year that the high school teachers asked us to help them organize and conduct an Orientation overnight camping trip in Harriman Park for the 100 students, grades 9-12. We play games, hike, have workshops, class meetings, art projects, good food, campfire, storytelling, sleep in tents, sing and we’ve had great weather twice.

At the end of the high school camping trip, right before we left to get on the buses to go back to school, the whole group formed a circle. The teacher leading the trip thanked the Biebers – father and son – for helping to make this all happen. She asked Daniel and me to come into the middle of the circle and the entire group of 100 plus surrounded us with tones. The teacher began with a tone, the rest followed and with the teacher leading the group, tones of various types were hummed or made by everyone for one whole minute. Daniel and I, with eyes closed, felt inside the energy and heard the vibrancy of the different tonal qualities. It was like being in the center of a force field with each person directing positive energies toward us and that energy making us vibrate, soothingly and lovingly, inside.

Again, for this to happen for just me or with some others, that alone would have been great. But for this magic time – it could be called nothing else! – to happen so organically because of what MY SON and I have done and are doing together, and to both be recognized for it in such an unusual way, is even more than great! Me and my son, standing in the middle of this circle, because we both belonged there for who we both are, as individuals and as a team! Think of all the things that had to happen to lead us to this spot.

Fathers out there – you know what I mean?

I am so lucky. Completely mind-blowing and amazing!