First, get out your permanent marker and circle the dates September 2-5th. Really. Do it. Just trust me.
A few weeks ago we were sitting around the campfire at the end of the first day of an overnight called (cue the booming movie voice-over guy), The Waterfall Extravaganza and campers were sharing the day’s challenges and blessings. When it came to be my turn, 15 firelit faces turned to me waiting for my answer. Three or so decades their senior, a wife and mom of 3 (and ancient in the eyes of a ten year old!) my eyes welled up with tears as I choked out this answer:
The blessing of camp is that the circle of friendship extends not just through your cabin or tribe, not just through your session, your summer or even your era. Camp friendships cross lines of age, of experience, of location. The counselors I looked up to adoringly are now my peers. Campers whose homesick shoulders I hugged are now in the carpool line with me. The sister (and brother) hood we create in our Green Cathedral continue to weave us together over a lifetime.
While the friendships I formed on Seminole Hill still bear fruit, it’s the friends who committed to camp as adults – to retreats, to Zoom chats and certainly to reunions – that have been forged into lifelong, deeply rooted relationships.
My youngest is missing camp desperately and he keeps repeating “It’s not the place, it’s the people.” He is right of course, but we all know it is sacred ground – it’s misty mornings, it’s laughter and singing, it’s silence and deep, peaceful stillness. One of our old reunion shirts says “The mountains are calling and I must go!” THEY ARE CALLING YOU RIGHT NOW!
My family is counting down the days to both the PLACE and the PEOPLE and we hope you’ll be there too! Don’t wait another ten years for the next reunion!
As I age, Anne’s words speak a hard truth
Time doesn’t wait for anyone, so grab for all the moments we can get.
Come forge your faith, your friendships, your continued connection to our camp home! We cannot wait to see you pull up Morgan Mill Road and into the Green Cathedral. God Bless you and your families!!
– Heather Whitaker Maloy