I am not a Spec kid. I never went to the summer camp hosted here at Graceland and had literally no idea what it was until at least January of my freshman year when it was actually explained to me. Spec was just kind of a word that a whole bunch of students used and I guess all went to. Those of us who never went, we hear about it all around us, all the time, and everyone asks us “Well, did you go to Spec?” and I typically answered with “sorry what’s that?”
For someone who is not a part of the Community of Christ traditions, Spectacular is not a part of the “Graceland Experience” in the way it is for so many. I never felt like I had missed something, but always felt curious about what the deal really was with Spec, considering ‘everybody’ talks about it non-stop welcome week. So, now that I’m spending my first summer in Lamoni, I have the opportunity to really investigate and report back for all of us uninitiated.
Spec is, first and foremost, a summer camp. It’s a camp where literally hundreds of high schoolers can come and make friends, meet new people, and have fun with people from all over the country and world. While the delegations are strong connectors, it’s clear to see how things open up as the week goes on. What is most interesting, though, is the amount of things to do. There is a certain amount of intentional over programming in order to not only provide maximum activity, but to also provide something for everyone. From a distance it would be kinda difficult to pin down the exactly what it is. While Spec from the outside seems primarily like a sports camp, and it does have a degree of that, there is so much more content to participate in. I think this is the reason you rarely hear a bad review of Spec, because nobody feels left out, there was something for every kind of person to participate in.
The basis of Spec is really kind of simple: it’s a place for a bunch of kids to get together, make friends participate in sports, classes and other activities… all at Graceland University. So what we as students all do for a full year, they get the “lite” version of for a week. They go to classes, play sports, take naps literally all over campus. So, imagine coming back to campus, but not having school… I think we’d all LOVE that. We all loved Winter term and that’s basically a month of exactly that! So it’s no surprise people love Spec so much.
Carter Chapley ’17