Farewell Summer 2013

I always marvel at how quickly camp comes, and then, how quickly it goes.  Summer is my favorite time of year.  When I think of the long countdown to camp and all the preparation it involves – upgrading facilities, hiring staff, recruiting campers, rebuilding the program, updating the menu – all that goes into making a great summer experience at camp happen, I really cannot fathom when it’s actually over.

Mindy and I are always sad when the last bus rolls out of camp.  The campers don’t get to see it, but I started a tradition many years ago.  After the last bus leaves, the counselors remaining in camp (which is most of them) get together at the Tiger’s Den (the basketball court right across from our cottage) to await their instructions on the clean-up schedule from the Head Counselors.  I walk over to the Cottage and change out of my green Timber Lake shirt into some other bright-colored polo, as the staff outside waits to see which one of their guesses on the color I changed into is correct.  This year it was bright orange.  The official changing from camp shirt to non-camp shirt marks my change back to “civilian life.”  As Mindy puts it, I get to take out the garbage again.

The summer of 2013 had to be our best ever.  I was called to the Health Center fewer times than I can remember; There were fewer bunk problems and the program ran virtually flawlessly; The counselor staff was outstanding; I thoroughly enjoyed working with them; And – the campers were truly great.

I also noticed some of the little things too.  They may not mean much, but I think that they do:  There was less litter to pick up this year; chewing gum on our courts and roads was way less than previous summers (which drove me crazy!)  To me, it means that the campers where taking more pride in our camp and that they were more respectful.  Returning counselors and some of our Senior Staff also reported the same thing.

As I walk around Timber Lake, now empty and silent, awaiting the arrival of the next high school football team which will use our grounds for their pre-season practice, I like to reflect on the summer that has just passed, but I focus a lot more on the one that will soon be upon us.  There is a staff to hire, supplies to purchase, facilities to upgrade and build, and a program that needs to be rewritten to reflect what Summer 2014 will be.  Before we know it, next summer will be here and our challenge is to make it even better than the summer of 2013.

Mindy and I wish everyone a great winter season.  Thanks for being a part of our summer this year.  We look forward to seeing you back again next year!

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