We live in a world crying out for the joys and lessons of camp.

About Us

Our Name

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ sonnet “The Windhover: to Christ Our Lord” gives Camp Windhover its name. The poem, one of the most influential and most analyzed in the twentieth century, captures a moment when the poet narrator watches a kestrel flying. Witnessing the small hawk’s expertise impacts the narrator’s life in a flash. The sight compels the poet to celebrate the perfection of the bird and, in doing so, also the perfection of the Creator. The poet realizes in the sestet that the wonder of the bird should not surprise him because God’s handiworks are awesome. God has made a dying fire glow and made quartz lying in the rich earth sparkle. Such a moment of awe is what Camp Windhover aspires to provide its campers and staff.

The Windhover

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
  dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
  Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
  As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
  Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
  Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
  Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

1877

All of life is about seeing, whether you are an artist or just an artist of life. Aren’t those who live fully very much aware of the moment? They practice what Hopkins presents before us in the poem. Camp Windhover strives to offer campers a chance to see and to soar in the moment in an environment laden with teachable moments and where the Divine feels very near.

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