Back to CampPosted: July 21, 2013
There is no happier place on earth than camp. As a kid I loved going to camp at Idlepines in Bow Lake New Hampshire. The great friends, activities that kept you playing outside all day, the singing and skits, the campfire, the food. When I was in college contemplating a real world job my father asked me what my favorite job might be and I said camp counselor. That was not met with much approval. Teaching kids how to canoe or do improv was frowned upon as a life-long pursuit. So my time as a camper ended and sadly I entered the life of adulthood and mortgages and cleaning out the dishwasher.
Fast forward a few decades to being an old mother… Carter was in lower school she did not like to sleep away from home. I understood that being in her own room in her own house was better than anyplace else, but I prayed that she would get over this so she could go to sleep away camp someday. Thank goodness my friend Hannah, mother of Carter’s great friend Campbell, who took it upon herself to get Carter to feel comfortable sleeping at their house. It was a huge gift to us all that Hannah slept on the floor, next to Carter’s bed that first night she spent the night at their house.
Following in her mother’s footsteps Carter went off to sleep away at Camp Cheerio and fell in love with it too. The first year Russ and I drove her up the mountain at Roaring Gap and got a glimpse of the cabins all those feeling of loving camp came rushing back. I remember saying to Russ I wish I could go to camp too.
Secretly Russ began to research how to make my camp dream come true. He searched the net and read many descriptions of camp like places. Lots of things sounded like camp, but they were really camp grounds, no, not for us. After weeks of stealth research he brought me into his investigation to weigh-in on his findings. Camp Medomak, a family camp in Washington Maine seemed like the place for us. Could it possibly be as idyllic as my childhood memories of camp? Could my introverted husband stand to spend what little free time he has at camp with, heaven think, strangers? Could our teenage daughter think being at camp with her parents in anyway favorably compares to her camp? Could of family of sophisticated food choosers now like camp food?
That was five years ago. The economy was not so great. What better time to try a low key vacation, go visit friends in Maine and try Medomak and family camp. We fell for it. We came back again and again. We love the owners, the people who work here and the people who come as campers, the cabins are better than sleep away camp, but the life is just as carefree.
Last year Carter went to Taiwan to live and go to school so we did not come back to camp. I missed it. This summer we only had one week when we all were free to come to camp, but it turned out that week was sold out. I called Dave, the camp director, to tell him if they had a cancelation we desperately wanted to come to camp. Dave said that would not happen because it was the owner’s Holly and George’s big family reunion at camp. I said, “I wish we were in Holly and George’s family.” Dave came back with, maybe you can be. So here we are! Back at camp, in a new family who will be more shocked to meet us than we will be to meet them, with some of our favorite returning counselors and some fun new ones too. I’m off to the lake now to swim and kayak and thank my wonderful husband who makes all my crazy dreams come true again and again.