After a failed attempt at making a raft out of foraged fallen wood from boys camp, one kid in particular was disappointed about the dismal outcome. I remember suggesting we run and jump off the dock with our clothes on. Her eyes lit up and off we went, down main dock and into the water. Walking back up to girls camp, soaking wet, was the first time I understood the power of camp and the small ways and opportunities to let love in. When she said ‘bye, love you!’ I yelled it back. And I have been saying it back ever since.
In the 11 years I worked at Manitou, there were a lot of life sacrifices that had to be made in order to prioritize the magic of Camp. Getting to be a part of the Sr. unit, Jr. Unit, Eco, Ropes, World Games, Manitou games, the CIT unit and to be close to Mark, Jeff, Mama D, Dave, Jen and Chris, was all based on feelings of belonging, growing and love. Love for the people, the magic of camp, and the opportunities to make magic happen.
I would have stayed if I could.
A day at camp, feels like a week. A week feels like a month and when you’re there for the whole summer if doesn’t feel nearly long enough. There is so much more fun to be had, memories to make and love to share.
My kids now go to Manitou. Camp is and will be a part of our family traditions.