Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Camp

Trying to put into words what it meant to go back to the lake where I spent  a decade plus, of carefree, spirited, formative summers might be tricky, but I will try. Anyone who went to sleepaway camp, and spent the full 8 weeks (there was a time when 2 months was the 'norm'), will understand, no words are necessary. Our day began with revelie and many bugle calls thereafter, until lights went out with the playing of 'Taps'. Every day was full of sports, singing all day, (literally), chores, 2 swims in the lake, water skiing, arts and crafts, healthy competitions, socials with 'The Boys', color war, and I am just skimming the surface of the obvious. What we did not know at the time, was that this discipline, this life, these awards, in our camp, called 'stripes', which we strived to earn every week, the give and take of everyday camp life, would be so deeply embedded into our little spirits, that we would walk into our adult lives and carry this wealth of joy and goodness, and then, in time, only  long to go back. Well, many decades later, after much arranging, some of us did just that. We came from all corners of the country, we found a house right on the lake, and off we went, back to the Berkshires. We have grown and changed as life has taken it's twists and turns, we have lost quite a few along the way, but, we remember that we were Girls and Boys together in this beautiful place, lovingly called Camp Rhoda/Camp Barrington. Nothing is there, our camp is gone, (replaced by new foliage and beautiful lakeside homes),but the lake is there, it is the same, and it welcomed us as if we had never left. Shortly after arriving, 4 of us got into a canoe and started to paddle around the perimeter, trying to get our bearings, well, the Boys dock was there, so the girls dock must have been, there. For me, it became clear when we were at the far end of the lake, exactly where everything was. I had water skied around the lake many many times with my Dad hauling me along as he drove the motor boat. This is how I marked the spots and could once again clearly see where everything was located. The debate still rages on, but I am settled. We did not appreciate the beauty, the sounds of the birds singing, the blue herons on the water, the crystal clear water where you can see down to the bottom in places. It was our summer home, this was all we knew and loved loved loved to the very core of our beings. Our time was short, but rich and full. We laughed, we cried, we sang, but mostly we loved. We loved one another, we loved the lake, we loved the memories, we loved until we could love no longer, and then it was time to leave. We have digital cameras and iPhones,we have Wifi, we have Facebook, so we have recorded this time from as many angles as there were eyes. I do believe we can put a 'check' next to this one on our individual buckets lists!

Gathering for our group shot...

You stand here...

Happy campers..

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