I feel fortunate to have been raised in a household where the mantra has always been ‘family first.’ My parents raised me and my three siblings to become each other’s lifelines, to be the first phone call whether in moments of cheer or sadness, and to love one another unconditionally. We were taught that when all else fails, family will never let you down… and for that I am grateful. It may also ring true for many of you who are probably multi-tasking between reading this blog post and debating whether to sneak that extra sunscreen in your child’s carry on ‘just in case.’
So what does this have to do with camp? Well, families come in all shapes and sizes, in all colors and forms. There’s an old adage that you can’t always choose your family, but I would argue that camp is that special exception. Camp allows the spheres of friends and family to become one and the same. Whether returning for their second or their ninth summer here at Tripp Lake, our girls do not hesitate to refer to the Promised Land as their second home, and the girls in their age group as their sisters. It’s more than simply sharing a living space for seven weeks. They are sharing an experience, one that is filled with beloved traditions, strange lexicons like ‘chicky boom chicky bummer,’ and an abundance of successes and challenges to tackle each day!
Today, I think of our first year campers, the ones experiencing that expected range of emotions that come with new opportunity – nervousness, curiosity, excitement, confidence, and so much more. These feelings are completely normal… I know, as I was a first year camper eighteen years ago. Though goodbyes are always hard, please know that your daughter is entering a supportive and loving environment. Our facilities are primed and ready to go. Our counselors are eager to begin coaching and mentoring. Yet most importantly, what awaits that first year camper is that different type of family, her future group of sisters. They’re the ones who will become her lifelines (or, thinking short term, their spot holder in the cookie line), her first phone call in the off season when she just needs a little dose of summer memory, and the ones who will love her unconditionally. We are very excited to watch the 2019 family begin to form.
In the meantime, Leslie and the rest of the Administrative team join me in wishing you a happy opening day! This is going to be an incredible summer.