Monday, June 27, 2011

Skies so blue, friends so true...

I know I need to recap the weekend but how in the world do I recap the weekend? I went to summer camp this weekend.


Back to the place where I began life as a camper and ended up as a 'chief'. That's what counselors were called at my summer camp-chief. Occasionally I was referred to as Princess but only because I liked to wear real shoes on my day off.

Something like that.

It might seem like this would be a simple post to write but its not. I'm pretty sure its one of those 'you had to be there' moments in a person's life. I do know this much-I laughed a lot this weekend...we all did. And we all agreed that adults need to laugh more. We also saw ourselves as we were at eighteen-nineteen-twenty years of age. Mirrors were few and far between (thankfully!) so we almost believed we were still standing on the brink of adulthood instead of 30 years down the road and looking back.

We sang and walked and shared and prayed and took a million pictures and we talked. Boy can we talk! We dined on doughboys and smores and our world famous camp stew cooked over a fire like it was meant to be cooked. You might think I'm exaggerating about the world famous part but I can assure you, I'm not. Campers and former staff alike are scattered to the four corners of this earth and we all remember the taste of that stew.

We remember lots of things.

One of the 'kitchen boys' joined us for the weekend and our former camp cook was there part of the weekend too. There were former counselors and CIT's, waterfront staff, girls who worked with the horses, helped with crafts and who registered the campers at a picnic table on Sunday afternoons. Even our fearless director who influenced so many lives for the better, managed to be there.

fyi-she is still fearless.

My point is, no matter what role you played at camp, no matter if you were there two summers or ten, there is a special place in your heart reserved for this camp and these friends and those memories.

Camp was a place of absolute beauty..a place to discover and know for a fact that God is love because you had a front row seat to that love in action. Camp was a place where you stepped (or were sometimes gently pushed) outside your comfort zone and into something new so that your confidence grew by leaps and bounds. Those experiences became the building blocks for your adult life in a way you can so clearly recognize in hindsight. Camp is where you learned how to truly be a friend, to trust in Jesus, and to love unconditionally. It's where you learned to embrace the silly and the fun but to also be still and hear God whisper your name.

There's a song called Circle of Friends written by Steven Siler and Douglas McKelvey and sung by Point of Grace that captures what I'm trying to say-

"..If you weep, I will weep with you
If you sing for joy the rest of us will lift our voices too
But no matter what you feel inside
There's no need to pretend
That's the way it is in this circle of friends
In a circle of friends
We have one Father
In a circle of friends
We share this prayer
That we'll gather together no matter how the highway bends
I will not lose this circle of friends..."

I never imagined when I stepped into my first cabin as a camper all the way back in 1972 that I'd still be talking about it some forty years later.

So thankful for the experiences.
So happy to sit around a campfire under the stars once more.
So grateful the circle remains unbroken.


  1. Beautiful post.

    Makes me want to call a friend.

  2. What Angie said ... :)

    I'm so glad it was everything you had hoped it would be and orth every bit of the anitcipation!

  3. looks like alot of fun! What state are you in?

  4. I'm so glad you got to go and that you had such a wonderful time... then and now!

  5. I'm so happy you were able to go back.....sounds like a perfect trip down memory lane.

  6. Anyone who had a great camp experience probably has tears in their eyes right now. I'm SO glad you had such a wonderful time!!

  7. So glad you enjoyed your camp reunion weekend. It must have been great to re-connect after so many years :)

  8. So glad you got to relive the experience. Sounds like you had a blast!

  9. Aw, I loved this post. It really made me feel the nostalgia and wish that I could have been apart of it. That is so cool that you did a reunion after all this time! Camp truly is a formative experience in a young person's life.

  10. That is a beautiful post, and so wonderful that you had the opportunity to rekindle friendships!

  11. What a great weekend you had!

  12. Great weekend and glad you were able to go back and enjoy your camping experience.

  13. It looks like it was an incredible weekend. SO glad you got to go back and relive those years if only for a weekend. Maybe it will become an annual event?

  14. Joyce, you did an excellent job in telling this story. Beautiful! I wish I would have the experiences you did as a child by going to camp. It really shaped your life in a positive way.

  15. Hi,
    I googled for Camp Sandy Cove Girls Camp "Dough Boys" & "Camp Stew" recipes and got your site. How fun to see the pictures! You did mention that you ate Dough Boys and Camp Stew at the reunion - do you remember the recipe? Love to taste them again!!!!

    I worked there one summer (1979 I think?) when Paula Beach and her husband were directors. We put on a synchronized swimming play of Hansel & Gretel in the round swimming pool for the whole camp to watch. I was in charge of Arts and Crafts and my sister Ruth was a Maiden "Chief". I bunked in one of the little kids cabins (forget what they were called?) We had one week of non-stop-pouring-rain (yuck!) but the rest of the summer was fun and memorable. Not sure if that was when you were there?