At 7:05 AM, while unloading trunks at the FORT, I ripped my shirt. The vintage trunk, covered with stickers from previous summers and the proud patina of at least ten years of camp service, caught my front pocket, and it was over. My closing day shirt for almost ten years was now destined for the rag pile and I briefly considered changing… but then reconsidered. I think I will wear it proudly and keep it in a box with other camp mementos.
I am nostalgic about this shirt. It has been with me for almost 100 camp transitions (Opening/Closing X Sessions X Years), and such a talisman evokes memories. Rain falling as heavy as a monsoon while we struggle to keep trunks dry on the soccer field, days hot and muggy as Columbia SC… each day clear in my mind and still evoking a smile. God was good in the bad days, comforting to think about.. but not the reason I get nostalgic.
The pain in my heart which moistens my eyes as I write this blog, is shared by many in our community today. Not everyone, for camp is made special by many perspectives, but enough to make me sense that I am not alone in my response to this place.
Camp is special. Camp is good. I wish it could go on forever. Our nostalgia is rooted in this perspective, and it leads to hope the more we think about it.
Our mission statement (To delight and inspire, for the glory of God.) leads all thoughts back to our sure hope in the promises of God… that there is a reunion coming soon. We are made to share such delight without end, and that hope makes camp even better. The tears are tears of gratitude and anticipation for the “real thing”; for all good things in this world are just reflections of something far better.
Greystone Girls (I know you are reading this… it’s one of the things you like to do at some point after leaving camp) know that we miss you keenly. That we will look at the moon reflecting its brilliance in the calm waters of the lake tonight and wish you were here to see it. We are just as exhausted as you. We are just as teary as you. We miss you just as much as you miss each other… and we love you dearly. Thank You.
Greystone fans (a group that includes parents, alums, and friends)… thank you for caring enough about camp to read on a day such as this. Only a fan would read a camp blog when camp was over… that you exist is an encouragement beyond words. Thank You.
The end of Main Camp marks a transition in our year. While there are still two weeks of absolute Greystone delight ahead of us, it will not be the same. Young campers love camp in a different way than more mature campers. So we have fun… we laugh a lot… we play like little children, experiencing camp in a whole new way. We love August Camp, but we also miss Main Camp and start planning for next year.
For the next month we will re-read your surveys, letters, concerns, comments, and stories… yes, we read them when you wrote them, but with a little more time, we can digest your thoughts to make camp better next year.
Thank you… when I say we miss Main Camp, I mean we miss you.