While it is often noted, it bears repeating that one of the beautiful outcomes of attending Tripp Lake Camp is that your daughters are able to enjoy the simplicity of their surroundings and develop friendships without the intrusion of the complex, technological world that encompasses their usual routines. I feel very fortunate that Tripp Lake now provides the backdrop for my habitual morning run. Running provides me a sense of calm in the midst of a hectic day, a period of time where my thoughts completely disappear, where fresh air and picturesque landscapes capture my attention. Just this morning, I laced up my sneakers and kicked up the pine needles as I set off along the towering trees and lined bunks of sleeping campers. I made my way down the road that leads to the Point, a ‘camp in’ site for some of our younger age groups, booked it behind Senior Row, and continued past Over the Wall. As the familiar sight of that shimmering blue water came into view, I recall a recent talk Janet Nash gave to our senior campers.
Janet, our associate director, is celebrating her fiftieth summer in the Promised Land. She’s taken in the same sight that I did this morning countless times, yet the admiration with which she speaks of it always sheds fresh light. Janet had gathered our Senior I campers together to discuss some of the logistics of Sing Song. Our fifteen-year-olds eagerly await their year, their opportunity to serve as a committee member for this special evening in Camp, and they spend much of their summer preparing five songs that will be sung in our theater. As a revered judge for this pinnacle event, the girls were intrigued to hear what tips Janet would provide. What mascots had to be named in the team song? How much harmony is too much harmony? While Janet was happy to provide that information, what truly gave the room pause was her description of how to write a quality camp song. Now, you don’t reach fifty years at camp without the knowledge and capacity to captivate an audience of chatty girls, and you could have heard a pin drop as she repeated the lyrics well worn in the Tripp Lake fabric. She paused with purpose to let the lines sink in, “Far above dear Tripp Lake’s waters / With its waves of blue / Stands a camp we all love dearly / Glorious to view.” As she spoke about the way this traditional song came to be, she mentioned how its writer, a former Head of Waterfront, wasn’t a songwriter. He simply took the time to jot down his perspective of standing on the swim dock, looking up the hill at the rest of the camp. It’s a sight that captivates our attention. It makes all of us recognize how lucky we are to be surrounded by this scenery as a permanent ‘backyard’ for seven weeks. It is beauty in the purest simplicity.
With respect to your girls, I can name up a dozen moments of beautiful simplicity just from this morning. It was the giggle of a Junior II whose ‘flip kick’ in soccer went slightly off course during her first team practice. It was the shy glance of an Inter III fiddling with her hair as she prepared for her first social with another camp. It was the head of a younger camper on the shoulder of her camp sister, off for a rafting overnight with her Senior age group. Unoccupied by the endless number of distractions that occupy our world, Tripp Lakers seize the chance to unplug, to communicate, and to enjoy each other. Combined with the spirit and energy that has arrived with the announcement of our big and little teams, campus has truly come alive! We now ask you, as their parents, to support our beautiful simplicity. Though it may be tempting to send an Amazon box stuffed to the brim with vivid color capes and fishnets, team mascot tchotchkes, and hair coloring, it is not what we require of your daughters as being part of a big or little team. While it is certainly all right to send a package with some team clothing for your daughters in the Inter through Senior age groups, we ask that you exhibit moderation, and support the values we set out to instill in the girls each summer. Thank you in advance for your understanding.