Week Six at Camp

We closed the 33rd year of The Nature Pace on a good weather note, unlike the beginning of the week when scattered thunderstorms and drenching downpours graced us at camp. Thursday night, the night of our Remembering Summer Slideshow, was beautiful, with a gentle breeze and clear skies. It felt like maybe, just maybe the best night of the summer.

Watching our end-of-camp slideshow, in the same spot I’ve watched it for now 33 years in a row, always pulls on my heart, and makes me feel bittersweet about the end of camp. The tenets of the night have stayed the same – the katydids, the bright stars, and the joy/sadness shared by campers, families, and staff closing out a summer together.

Our camp harvest day up at the farm also had us taking advantage of Thursday’s great weather, when we all hiked up to the fields of Duryea Farm to harvest onions. Accompanied by guitars and signing and laughter, l’ll bet we picked about 2,000 pounds of onions!

Coming back to camp from the farm we took a woodland path, a few groups at a time traveling down it in silence. We were trying to spot the group Q campers and counselors, who were hidden and camouflaged along the way, blending into the forest on either side of the path. You could look straight at them and only see the woods!

Some Quotable Quotes from our last week of camp:

  • On a hike a camper stopped to feel the breeze and said, “Ahh, nature’s air conditioning.”
  • During a guided meditation hobby a camper said, “Did you open my third eye? Because I think I felt it open.”
  • A mother encouraged her child to write a thank you note to her favorite counselor and the camper replied, “Oh, I can’t express that in words!”
  • A child who became frantic at the top of the climbing tree, “My people are potato farmers not tree climbers!”
  • “Happiness, I found it right here” said a camper pointing to her heart.

We are truly grateful that you’ve been a part of our camp family this summer! You can expect to hear from us now and then over the year. Besides sending out the Dirt (our monthly newsletter) September through May, we’ll also send you some gifts to remind you of the warmth and fun of camp. These will include a cookbook of Eva’s yummy recipes from the summer, a winter solstice card (signed by your camper’s counselor, shhh…it’s a secret), our end-of-summer slideshow, and a few flower seeds in the springtime which you and your child(ren) can plant to grow and get ready for next summer, 2019.

If you’re already ready for next summer, you can catch the early bus to bargainsville and enroll as an early bird for The Nature Place in 2019, saving 10% on camp tuition.

On Saturday we had our staff party at the Threefold Cafe. This is always a special time where we get to recognize all the hard work and dedication of our counselors and activity leaders and support staff. We eat a yummy meal together and then watch a funny, heartfelt staff slideshow. After the slideshow, right before departing, an apt analogy was brought up. We, the year-round and core summer administrative staff, are like a sourdough starter. A sourdough starter is necessary to make a loaf of sourdough bread, but without additional flour and water and maybe a pinch of salt, there’s no bread, only the potential for it. The counselors and activity leaders and support staff that work with us for our brief, intense summer season are the difference between a great sourdough starter (just sitting on the shelf) and a fresh, delicious loaf of bread – they really make the final result possible. Within this analogy, we noted that this year the loaf of bread was especially delicious!

It does feel that this just-ended summer was an especially connected one, and that feeling of connection and purpose shared joyfully between staff, campers, and families is a gift I am truly grateful for.

 

Thank you for being an integral part of the living entity that is The Nature Place!

Sincerely,

Ed

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