Camp Friends and the Reasons We Return

The real reason I signed up for Greystone was because of the young lady who spoke at the “in home marketing movie” my mom and I attended all those years ago in the spring of ‘86. After the movie, she followed us home and bought every single box of my unsold Girl Scout cookies. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven with such a large sale!

That young lady was Katie Miller and looking back, I wonder if she really liked Girl Scout cookies all that much or if that was some well spent Greystone marketing dollars … after all, that single Girl Scout cookie sale led to my spending 8 summers as a main camp camper and 3 years on staff. Greystone is so important to me that I got married there, and now my daughter has finally become a Greystone girl and I’ve returned as Junior Camp staff!

While Katie may have gotten me to Greystone, it was Libby who kept me there. I was so incredibly homesick that first summer that I begged my parents to rescue me. They came to visit with plans to take me home, but Libby had something else in mind, sitting us all down in her office simply stating “you have to leave her, I promise she will be fine.”

And as I’d come to learn over the years, Libby knows her stuff. She is one of the most amazing women I’ll ever have the honor of knowing. I will be forever blessed she stepped in to help determine my fate that summer, for it definitely altered the course of my life.

A person is lucky if they have one or two role models in their life, but as a Greystone girl, I’ve compiled a list of hundreds over the years- older campers, cabin-mates, counselors, revered men staff – the list goes on and on.

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Jim Daddy will always have a special place in my heart for lessons I learned from him are truly too many to count. Despite his famed larger than life breakfast club stories, he’s the person who taught me to make each day a “GREAT DAY” and to feel “TERRRRR-IFIC!”

He taught me never to quit, for “if you think you can, you can. If you think you can, you can!” My heart broke into a million pieces when he passed. Not only did I miss him greatly, I mourned deeply for the girls who would never have the chance to learn from such an remarkable man.

I also remember being a young camper in Tentalow row – looking up to the girls in Cabins 6 & 7. I wanted to be like them – they were effortlessly beautiful, graceful and so kind. Seeing them presented at QLB – so regal and exemplifying all the qualities of a Greystone girl – I was awe struck. I can only hope that when I finally made it to Cabin 6 & 7, that I had become that type of role model for a younger generation of girls.

Greystone always hired the best men staff. They unselfishly served in the many roles they had to play – from teaching class all day, to sweeping the dining room floors, to throwing chairs in the pavilion for church, to serenading female counselors on their birthday. They openly shared their love of Christ and were examples of the type of boys we all hoped to marry one day.

As I entered the dating scene, I felt sorry for the boys that entered my life as it was hard to measure up those Greystone men staff!

The men staff who took vacation time from their real job in the real world each summer especially amazed me. While I remember Bill Taylor or John John running off the tennis courts – a quick conference call here and there – they were totally committed to Greystone, her ideals and were so immersed in every aspect of camp.

They were my heroes as both a camper and counselor for their dedication to Greystone and the girls. I wanted to grow up to be like them – to honor and serve Greystone like they did, to take time off from my “real world job” one day. Last year, I finally did it! I took vacation from my real world job and joined the staff for Junior Camp and I plan to do so for many years to come. It’s no longer a someday wish, but a priority!

The friendships made at camp, whether it’s with a cabin-mate, camper or counselor, are indescribable. There is this powerful, lifelong bond that spans generations and ages. Days, weeks, months, even years can go by without seeing or talking, but it’s like time never passed when you meet. Amongst many things, Greystone taught me the true meaning of friendship and my life would be void without my Greystone friends. I love them deeply and fiercely.

The people of Greystone are a unique breed – in fact they are the best of breed. They personify the spirit of Greystone by their unselfish service and daily lead by example. They are confident in their faith in a way that invites hundreds of girls each summer to walk closer with God. I simply can’t imagine what trajectory my life would have taken had I not gone to Greystone and been exposed to the people who continue to be my role models, mentors, and best friends.

Who would have thought that Girl Scout cookies could be so life changing?

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