Solo Sunday: The gift of time alone

By The Aloha Team

A outlook on top of a mountain.

A towel to sit on, a piece of fruit, a water bottle, a pen, and a journal.

Solo Sunday at Aloha is one of my favorite moments at camp. Picture this, for a few hours all of the tents on the hillside are empty (if the weather cooperates). There’s not the usual sound of voices swarming around the Main House. Believe it or not, you cannot hear a single song from the Aloha song book. Just the songs of the birds in the tree above you, the slight breezes as it mingles through the trees, and of course the occasional bug or ten. Just for a few hours you are somewhere in nature with yourself.

Solo Sunday is a time for campers and counselors alike, to reflect, set goals, reassess what needs improvement, and feel comfortable being with oneself. The Solo experience is really what YOU as the individual make of it. My first Solo at Aloha I was 14. My friends and I were not super enthusiastic because three hours was such a long time to be away from each other. Plus, we couldn’t talk so I had already decided I was going to sleep as a bold act of defiance. I can’t be sure how much time passed, but it couldn’t have been more than thirty minutes before I started writing a letter to myself. It began with complaints of the heat and mosquitoes. Some more time passed, and I started thinking about how I wanted the rest of camp to go for me. After it was all done, my friends who were in the same boat as me were sharing our different experiences. I continued to write myself a letter in the Solo Journal every summer, and I’m so glad I did. We definitely did not expect to gain as much as we did from our Solos.

In today’s day, we rarely get time to ourselves. Our lives are busy, and we are always on the go. Also, let’s not forget social media can be just as draining as it is entertaining. Just because we’re not on the trail to Sleepers, or on Winships doesn’t mean Solo Sunday can’t happen! You can still give yourself the proper Solo experience. If you can, find a spot outside in nature and take a chunk of time for yourself. It can be five minutes, fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, etc. If you can’t get outside, no worries! Make a space that is your quiet zone. Find a comfy chair, blankets, you can even make a fort! This allows you to be away from distractions and focused on you. I recommend a journal and a pen/pencil to jot down thoughts, plans, creative ideas. Lastly, a hot beverage never fails in adding some comfort. After the set amount of time (whether it’s thirty minutes or an hour), you can debrief about the Solo Sunday experience together.

Solo Sunday serves as a check-in with ourselves, and reminds us how important it is to sometimes pause and take a pulse check. I’ll have to save this upcoming entry to put in my Solo Journal for the next time I’m back on the shores of Lake More