Sometimes I feel like I’ve broken up with someone when I think about camp. We spent all these wonderful years together, I grew and learned with camp and became me because of camp. I spent my best years with camp. Then, one day I realized that it was time to move on. I unwillingly saw that we needed our distance. We’ll still always be friends and someday I know we’ll be together again. It was just time, no matter how hard that is for me to admit.
In a little over a month a group of young men and women will gather in the mountains on the shores of Lake Summit and begin orientation. They will prepare for the summer of a lifetime. some will be returning to their home. Others will be venturing into a new and strange land, filled with traditions they can’t understand yet and a language all of its own. I very much long to be part of those young men and women. I want to drive down the entrance road with my windows open, the small of the summertime mountains wafting into my car. When I get out I want to see my best friends, sing camp songs and hear the bell. This is a very difficult break up. I constantly want to get back together despite the fact that I know better.
I’ve been having a lot of trouble imagining summer without camp. Two years ago I was at camp for only the month of June and, not counting that month, that was the worst summer on record. I’m honestly a little scared. That sounds kind of extreme, but hey it’s true. Good thing I have a white board full of summer fun in Indianapolis activities to keep me busy. I have plans to learn how to fish on a boat at a lake (which I will jump into fully clothed just for good measure) and then take my new fishing skills to the woods to go camping. I might even learn how to play golf. I’ll walk on the canal, listen to live jazz, have picnics, and ride segways. I know that everything will be ok because I have this support system here at home that will make it easy for me to enjoy my summer.
A tiny part of me still wishes that I was slowly gathering up my camping stuff, my oldest tennis shoes, my rattiest t-shirts and packing it into my old and worn trunk and driving down to the mountains where the rhododendron grow.