The emotions of closing day are complex for camp people. Our world has been shaped by bugles and bells for weeks (sometimes months) on end. Every need is provided in abundance and the comforting embrace of “the bubble” has softened our hearts. We smile quickly, laugh loudly, and dance throughout the day without self-consciousness. We eat well, exercise a lot, and have great conversations with surprisingly interesting people (many of which are many years older or younger than us). Camp is a little slice of heaven. It has consumed our world in a wonderful way and now it is over.
The silence that blankets camp after the campers leave is noticed by all the counselors who are packing their cars. They will soon be on the road, driving home for a very short visit with family before starting the Fall semester. As they pack they will share tearful goodbye’s that often are not marked by a word… they know that they will always be friends but it might be years before their friendship is renewed face to face. They are deeply connected by shared memories that will bring smiles to their lips and light to their eyes many years from now. The silence of camp makes those memories poignantly stand out as they take one last walk by the lake, as one last moment on the dining hall porch. Some will cry. All will say a quick prayer of thanks.
It has been an amazing summer… an amazing August Camp… our best ever. We close this chapter of the Greystone story with a profound sense of satisfaction. God has been glorified and we have done the best we could. We know that we can do better (the notebooks are filling with ideas and suggestions) but we are very happy to have been a part of something special.
Greystone is ninety nine years old. A very special place. Some of the traditions have remained largely in tact (Vespers, Council Fire) others have changed with the times… but the camper experience remains the same, the same purpose is overseen by the same family. The evening programs today would have delighted the girls of 1920, the classes would have engaged, the meals would elicit the same delight, the desserts the same cheers… and on closing day the parent and child reunions would have been just as joyous. Circumstances have changed but the experience remains the same.
We are grateful for your support and encouragement. Words do not express how much we appreciate the fact that you chose to send your girls to camp. Many people don’t “get it”, they think that camp is too long, too expensive, or that their child would not thrive away from home. You took a gamble and we hope that you now agree that your daughter experienced something wonderful this summer. We hope that she has grown more confident, more kind, more thankful, and more helpful. We hope that her she has more resilience in difficult situations and is a better team player with her peers. Most of all we hope she will carry a bright light of love that warms her heart and blesses others for a lifetime.
May God richly bless you and your family and keep you safely in the years to come.