Last week I had the opportunity to go to Camp “O”—the Crown Jewel of New York FFA.
I was warmly welcomed by my host and hostess, and warmly reminded of a right of passage that so many of us had growing up…summer camp.
For me it was a 2 week stay at Camp Huckins the summer before I went into 7th grade. Like most, the memories, the skills, and the self awareness I learned in such a short time was monumental to me at an extremely impressionable age. It was a moment in time that I will never forget.
I hope this list can take you back to that summer, when you went to summer camp.
Packing the car with a nervous tummy, off we go.
Saying “Hello” and sizing them up.
Top or bottom bunk?
Waking up to Revelry on chilly mornings and snuggling deeper into my sleeping bag.
Being a “Middler”. Camp J.
Chattering teeth and blue lips after being in the first swimming lesson of the day.
Three-legged races and skits around the campfire.
Writing a letter, getting a letter.
Giggling after lights out.
Buying a Charleston Chew and cold Pepsi at the Cantina during free time.
Singing “You can’t ride in my little red wagon” at the top of your lungs.
Camping out at Deer Point, and words of encouragement on the Ropes course.
Cabin bus duty.
A twinge of homesick.
Horseback riding for the first time, deer flies.
“Jeremiah was a bullfrog…”
Wednesday night Vespers..and canoeing.
Dark sky, bright stars, ghost stories.
A rainy day spent in the arts and craft building…hearing the rain play on the tin roof.
Sweeping the cabin. Inspections.
Bug juice and pine pitch.
Sunshine pouring in through the large, screened cabin windows.
C.I.T.’s and towels hanging on the clothesline.
The bang of a cabin door and fuzzy sweatshirts.
Young feet walking softly on the bed of pine needles behind the cabin.
Anticipation of the end.
Pictures and hugs. Addresses with promises to write. Camp is over.
And we go our separate ways.
Each with a piece of camp in our hearts, that we carry with us, forever.