I visited Camp Carter tonight to train their staff on dealing with campers with special needs. Each summer, as I gear up for this talk, I am flooded with memories and left wading in bittersweet emotion. For years, camp defined my summers. It's where I made my best friends, learned the most about myself and felt the most "me." I miss camp. Pretty sure I always will. I hope that Elliott can capture the indescribable joy of combining nature and freedom of spirit someday. Can you demand such things? IF so, then there is no doubt that I will. :)
Top ten things to miss about camp:
- Mandatory rest time
- Pool time counts as shower time and being smelly is acceptable, heck, even encouraged. . .
- Seeing a child gain skills of independence that they cannot experience any other location. Baiting a hook, shooting an arrow, washing hair, cooking over a fire. That is magic.
- Laughing until your sides hurt, and then immediately crying when you realize just how quickly time is passing. Camp is never long enough. Never.
- Actually interacting with other people. Without a screen between you. Amazing.
- Shower parties.
- Singing grace before every meal.
- The haunting, sweet sound of children singing at chapel or before rest time.
- Late night conversations, whispered on a porch to avoid small ears from hearing, that encapsulate your deepest yearnings, easily forgiven in the bright light of day.
- Making friendships that transcend the current setting because the essence of yourself is seen in living in close quarters and performing what is once the toughest, most amazingly fun job of your life.