“The Flicker of the campfire; the wind in the pines; the moon in the heavens; the stars that shine.
A place where people gather; make friends of all kinds; A place where all mans’ troubles; are always left behind.”
(The Flicker of the Campfire—a camp songs with the words that say it all.)
Today’s blog is a step away from much of my blogs of late. And my siblings may be a little disappointed because they came up with all sorts of themes for my blog this weekend, but that’s for another day. Because today we talk about camp.
Yesterday I was up early and so I decided to take a walk. There’s something about taking a walk in the cool, damp morning that always reminds me of camp. Maybe it’s the way that it’s quiet and the damp accentuates the earthy smells. Or maybe it’s the birds waking up the world with their happy chirping. Whatever it was, that walk brought me back to my camper and counseling days with a fond smile.
Granted the pay was near to non-existent. But clearly, the money is not why people choose to be counselors. It’s the camper memories of that awesome (and probably insane) counselor who made their summer the best ever.
Perhaps it’s because as a counselor, you get paid to do the things you otherwise wouldn’t get to do. I mean under what instances do you see me backing off an 90 foot cliff?
Or climbing into a hole in the ground?
And people, I got paid to do this!
But nothing was better than the fun and friendship of these crazy and fun people.
Now, granted with this many staff members there are moments of bickering and politics, but that’s what the off season is for. It’s not those things that linger on as camp memories.
Heck without these staff members you can’t run out in the pouring rains to avoid the crowded, muggy Program Center and instead run from unit to unit announcing to all the world that it’s raining. And when the rain stops, and you haven’t visited all the units, you run and splash in the spigots continuing to claim it’s raining.
Or you can’t be approach by a Park Ranger of limited intelligence, who failed German (apparently we needed to know this) and be given a ticket for camping too close to the Reservoir.
You can’t have paint wars, support when faced with a meowing camper, or kitchen raids so real you have a camper pee herself when the camp director “happens” to show up. You can’t cause your fellow staff to gag on your wonderful post-hike odor, or jump fully dressed into the pool. Without the interactions that result from people, you don’t have camp. It’s those same people that make camp the greatest place on earth.
Rather, it’s the pranks, the trips, the crazy meals, the fun, friendships and most of all those campfires that one thinks on as they take that morning walk in the suburbs, surrounded by cars, houses and memories. I wish I could go back…