Camp Days Remembered
We were all sitting around a campfire. Everyone was singing Cats In The Cradle and I had the feeling that this was a special moment but I didn’t have words to describe it, at that young age.
For me camp was about activities and candy and sleep outs and friends and having a good time. It wasn’t as stressful as working at a camp. So much of our day was planned for us, we just had to show up and try our best.
The hardest part was swimming lessons. There were cold days and we were still expected to go in the water. Sometimes we would pretend to be sick so we could skip swimming in that cold lake.
The best part were the entertaining dinners with people getting dressed-up in funny costumes, standing up and singing and mail being called out. Seeing the counsellors flirt and get singled out was so much fun. We helped bring some of the counsellors together so that they would make a couple. That was so exciting!
There was magic at camp with the peach juice at every meal and the grilled cheese sandwiches to no end. I remember the time we were woken up at two in the morning with fairy dust and told to meet at the dining hall where we had snacks before returning back to our bunks to sleep until morning.
We tried to work out which weeks of the summer to go to camp to try and meet each other again. We wrote letters during the year. We talked about school and how it just didn’t have that feeling of community that camp did. We proclaimed how much we missed everyone and we counted down the days till we got to go to camp again.
Then later I began working at camps. My first observation was that it wasn’t as fun. We were on the side of planning the activities and making things fun for others. We couldn’t quite let loose the way we did as campers. The responsibility felt boring to me. I’d have rather been involved in having more fun and going canoeing or kayaking or making crafts.
Let’s get back to being a kid. Some of the crafts at camp were lots of fun. Beading was always very neat with all of the colours. We made necklaces and bracelets and gave them to each other and sent some home and gave things to our counsellors.
It wasn’t all easy. One counsellor thought I smoked. I had to show her that I was innocent and that I wasn’t into breaking rules like that. Camp was fun enough as it was.
When you grow up sometimes you forget the spirit of camp but it remembers you. It teases you with signs here and there that might bring a memory back to you. It places people in front of you that you knew at camp in hopes that you just might show some of that old camp spirit. But life draws you away from it. Life with it’s rules and rigidity, with it’s responsibilities and social considerations, with it’s authorities and rule breakers. The technology that just isn’t out in the woods can overwhelm the kid who just wants to see a blue jay with a friend and what about the kid that wants to look for Queen Anne’s lace in the fields.
The camp-fire is the end of a day at camp. People put their arms around each other and sing. People hum and sing out of tune and some people whisper and giggle. It’s nice to feel the camp spirit. I hope that my camp friends out there hum an old song or two and think of me and I’ll sing a song for them this summer.
Look forward to my April bonus post this Thursday.
Posted on April 22, 2013, in Balance, Depression, anger and negativity, Emotions, friendship, Happiness, Self Esteem and Positivity, mental health, mental illness, New Age Psychology, Relationships, young people, youth and tagged Benevolence, Change, crisis management, empowerment, forgiveness, healing, mental health, positive thinking, self help, self-knowledge. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.