The past few weeks, I have been feeling the saddest feelings a girl who adored summer as much as I did, could feel. I am campsick. Yes, it is true.... I was the kid who grew up at camp, and considered it a vacation, a second home and a completely different set of friends who knew me so well. Camp Loucon in Leitchfield, Kentucky was my FAVORITE destination on Earth. Seven years have past since I made my last appearance at my beloved stomping grounds, but not a summer goes by that I long for an afternoon of archery, low elements, high ropes or a nice leisurely paddle on Nolin Lake. I started my career as a camper VERY young....seven years old to be exact. From 91'-01', I would spend my glorious summers returning to find my old "favorite" counselors and make friends with the new ones.
It's hard to pinpoint what made my love start in the first place. If you ask anyone who ever went to camp, they rarely can tell you. Camp is a magical place. In an attempt to "get out of Kentucky" and "live" one summer, I randomly took a job at the oldest girls camp in Minnesota. Camp Kamaji as a counselor, and it was amazing to see that those girls love that old camp the way I love mine. At that point, I had the best summer of my life. I stretched beyond my limits that summer and it helped mold me into the adult I am today. That camp will always be dear to me, though I spent only one summer there. Don't get me wrong when I say this....I had a blast and made yet again, more life long friends, but it never touched the way I felt about Loucon.
There were nights when I would be participating in Kamaji's evening program, that I was longing to be swaying to the Bossa Nova, jumping so hard during the Pata, Pata in Harbin Hall that the cd skipped, stepping on someone's toes to the Salty Dog Rag or settling a love triangle with Sally Down the Alley. Nothing beat the Sundrops and Sour Straws at Canteen or the "Warm Fuzzie/Cold Prickly Board". Exercise these days will never replace the hikes to Whispering Falls, a hard fought game of Roman Soldiers, capture the flag after breakfast or the long mid-night walks to Loucon Lake when everyone else was fast asleep. Time will never fade the memories of those heartfelt nights at Vesper Hill, Open Air Chapel or Green Cathedral.
Camp is a special place and I will always hold it dear to my heart. Every summer I will get camp sick and email my favorite dean, Darryl Glass and beg him to let me come back to help the next year. I've been held to my promise and am returning during the holidays to visit during Christmas Camp and returning as a counselor next summer to give back to the place that gave me so much.