June 10, 2023
Susie and I are regulary amused at the perception of campers about life here after the summer. They tend to break into two groups. The first group (roughly 75%) marvels at how awesome it must be to enjoy “camp” 12 months a year. The second group seem to think that the camp goes into suspended animation. Please allow me to describe both.
Group 1: Year-round Camp Must Be Awesome!
Campers often ask what it is like to live at camp in the non-summer months.
We have a simple response: we do not live at camp in the non-summer months.
No, we do not move elsewhere. Our home is on the property. We have raised 4 children and multiple pets here.
But we are not “at camp”.
We are on a lovely piece of property with a lake and lots of cool stuff like climbing walls, art studios, pickleball courts, archery ranges, etc. We have serene views of long lawns, tall trees and vibrant sunsets.
But we are not at camp.
Camp is not a place. Camp is our community. This chunk of land becomes camp when campers and counselors come together to learn and laugh; to grow together. It is an intricate web of shared stories, high fives, and newfound friendships.
Without our campers and counselors, this place is simply a backyard. Admittedly, it is an unusual and interesting backyard, but a backyard nonetheless and not camp.
Group 2: Camp in Suspended Animation
The remaining 25% or so of campers make the opposite assumption than the “year-round camp is awesome” crowd.
As I write above, wesay that “camp does not really exist without campers here”, the second group of campers (overwhelmingly the younger campers) seem to take this literally. In their minds, nothing happens when they are gone.
To hear them describe what their minds’ eyes see, you would think that the entire camp simply stops. The grass does not grow, new facilities are not diligently built (but simply spontaneous emerge) and no one here ages (including the dog). [Note: to look at Dodger the dog or Susie, you could be forgiven to think no real aging happens, but I surely provide strong visual evidence that it does.]
We occasionally describe what quiet winter days here are like. These skeptical campers just look at us with stoic disbelief . . . they will not be fooled by such silly talk.
But such conversations are for another day. It IS the summer and camp is in full swing, so we can concern ourselves with the facts of post-summer life later…
…if only I could get that non-aging thing down!