July 6, 2018 – TLC Times
July 6, 2018 by Stacy Tell
The heat is on repeat here at Tripp Lake Camp, as we have continued to weather this stretch of hot days with some exciting modifications to our routine. (I know, catching on to my wordplay is a breeze). Alongside our already established canoe/kayak, waterski, sailing, and instructional swim programs, the girls are jumping at every chance to hop on the banana boats and cruise around Tripp Pond, or to try their hand at standing up on paddleboards. These past few days also provided us the opportunity to break out the inflatable pools, the water soakers, and of course the slip n’ slide, for different age group periods. It then culminated in an afternoon ‘Beach Day’ celebration for all campers and counselors. Led by our Waterfront Director Janine Clarkson, the waterfront staff came together to orchestrate a fun-filled dive into our lake for some free swim time! Though we are now expecting the heat to break tonight, we’re proud of your daughters for showing flexibility, patience, and a great sense of fun in the midst of the humidity.
A frequent question that has crossed my path since arriving back at Tripp is the seemingly basic, yet actually layered query of, “What does it feel like to be back here at a girls camp?” Each time I’ve provided a fair response of how exciting this new opportunity is, how much I’m enjoying getting to know each and every one of your daughters, and that it smells a lot better than the boy world. However, I leave those conversations feeling that my response has never fully matched my own expectation, or the set of emotions I take from being back at the Promised Land. I think back to a conversation that I had during our pre-season with the ex-campers now working as full-time staff members. Eager to be a support in these conversations, I said something that fell along the lines of a weird reality that might settle deep inside their stomachs. It’s the recognition that camp continues to go on even when we’re not the ones sleeping in the bunks as its campers. Tripp is a living environment that is ever-growing, developing, and changing with the girls that are here and the interests that they carry… as it very well should. Whether it is restructured buildings, new activities, or the latest bright-eyed girls of 16A, 16B, or 16C, we are not doing our best work for the girls unless we are growing alongside them. Now, I can still picture the initial reticence on their faces as I brought this truth to light. However, I wasn’t quite finished yet.
Your daughters will reiterate that it is very difficult to describe exactly what that feeling, that x factor, that inherent ‘camp-ness’ is that draws us back to Maine each summer. I carry it with me each time I get asked that question about what it feels like to return. Though things change, there is a flipside to it as well. There are other moments that will strike the familiar bones in your body, which will tap into your memory banks that you’d forgotten ever existed. A particular one that comes to mind came within the first few minutes of watching our counselor talent show, where each act was transitioned by the campers jumping into a cheer: “Hey now, hey now, what’s up next now? Girls don’t you know that it’s…” I have to be honest, I hadn’t thought about that song in years, but one chorus later and I was immediately swept back into the bleachers with them, and I was singing clapping along…