Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I attended camp several summers as a child. Although I don't think summer church camp at Springdale Lakes was specifically a family event, it felt like family camp to me - one or both of my parents always worked at the camp when I was there, and my brother and sisters attended camp the same time that I did.

I never worked up my courage enough to jump out of "the crow's nest," perched high in a towering pine tree. Riding the zip line over the swimming lake was a feat for braver children than myself! And I half-way believed the stories about a dragon living in the third and smallest lake. The mist settling on the lake in the evening, rising slowly in the morning, created the perfect setting for a dragon encounter.

At the end of camp week, we celebrated with the running of the annual Banana Biggie relay. Every camper ran a leg of this race - maybe eating Saltines and then whistling a tune, maybe drinking a suspicious-looking glass of Dragon Juice or swimming the length of the small swimming lake. The baton was a banana, which usually looked pretty pitiful by the time it reached the last runner. This unfortunate camper had to run up the steep hill to the dining hall, eat the banana, and ring the camp bell. I never have been any good at sports, but I looked forward each year to running in the Banana Biggie!

Last year, at Grace's first summer camp, I especially enjoyed joining a group of kids for the Creek Stomp, a walking tour of one of the park's creeks, guided by a friendly Ranger. I loved that first cup of hot coffee early in the morning, sitting alone in some secluded spot of the woods while I prayed and gathered my thoughts for that day's lesson. Energizers on the lodge deck, crazy dancing as we all went Star Trekkin'! Listening to a bunch of silly little girls giggle and whisper in their bunks during the hour-long afternoon rest time. Staff meetings at the end of each day.

What about you, Dear Reader - any fond memories of summer camp?

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Off bug repellent AND chigger bites painted over with pink nail polish that cracked. The mealtime cabin cleanliness report with statements about unmentionables drip drying. Bugs in the shower stalls. Arts and craft barn plaster molds. Snack shop spending. Sleepiness. Sweat. Campfires. But I sure don't remember any other family members being there besides you. I do remember being dropped off and being utterly terrified that I would not see Mom again for a whole week. If you had not been dropped off with me, I think I would have fought to leave with Mom.