The Campers are Coming!

I can pretty much count on waking up a minute or two either side of 6:00 am. It doesn’t matter whether I’m early to bed or stay up howling at the moon. Sometimes Laurie tries to game my internal clock by asking me what time I’m getting up, and then saying, “I’m setting an alarm for 7:30.” (Or Eight) As if that matters. She’s a sleeper. She loves to sleep. I love the solitude that comes with being one of the first to greet the morning, so I’m not out of bed reluctantly. I usually have a routine that involves recycling Nespresso pods with really good coffee. Turns out you don’t have to pay a buck fifty for each of those little pods. Nespresso is the inkjet printer of the coffee world. The machine is cheap and it makes amazing coffee. They get you on the pods. Amazon sells the little foil covers and coffee (like anything) tastes better when you have a little skin in the game.

After coffee and some quiet time, I look at my phone to make sure the fires are out, and this morning I was greeted by my buddy Don, a director at Camp High Rocks up the road…his text read “Kids are coming!!! Have a great day with all the chaos. May the lord be with you!”

Opening Day is like Christmas morning for us camp folks. It’s a pretty weird setup…getting ready for nine months, going full tilt from sunup to sundown for 10 weeks, screeching to a halt, and then starting over again. We’re busy year-round, but our lives ramp up when May comes around. When today finally arrives, it is SUCH a joy! Camp comes alive when campers arrive. Our counselors, who have been training for the last couple of weeks are glowing with anticipation. We pray for a gorgeous day, and it was delivered. We watch each girl come up the hill, with mixed emotions of excitement, their own anticipation…some coming off amazing years…others not so great. All of us affected by the weirdness of the last couple of years.

Our team is ready. I will tell you that in 32 years of directing camp (you’re probably picturing a gray old dude hunched over his walker), this year feels more like ministry than ever before. We are made to be in community, and the pandemic ate away at that. Screens don’t count. I like technology as much as the next guy, and there were points in the last two years when I was very thankful for Zoom and Facetime…but there is no substitute for “in person”…and camp specifically…where “virtual” is not part of the vernacular. Real relationships. A safe place to practice.

We are committed to doing our best to help each other catch up on all the best parts of being together….from kindness and civility, to great table manners as we dine as a family…to encouragement and building each other up. We’re all affected, and it is my prayer that we climb to the other side of this period of history stronger, more confident, and that we can ditch the anxiety that has eaten away at our girls as they try to navigate a pretty scary time. Time will tell, but know that we are committed to do our best to make sure your camper has the time of her life…with memories that will sustain her through inevitable tough times to come.

I guess it’s also inevitable that I wax philosophical on the first blog of the season. But, I promise not to do it every night. Camp is about letting loose and having fun…and that’s what we’re gonna do. This has been an amazing opening day, and I’m excited to see what this summer holds…for us, but most for your camper.

My text back to Don? “And also with you.”