I say it every year, summer at Tripp Lake always flies by way too fast. On our last day of camp, I can’t help but reflect on the beautiful memories made and the amazing sounds that fill camp each year – the sounds of earning morning reveille, the cheers when a camper passes a cap at the waterfront, the 11:20am chimes signaling cookie line, the bunk chatter that surrounds campus after taps is played, the beautiful singing that fills OTW in unison. These are just a few of the sounds I’m not quite prepared to say goodbye to yet. Our campers bring a passion, spirit, and love for Tripp Lake that makes this place so very special – the beauty of this place shines because of them.
As always, today was full of final packing and travel day preparations, yet it was also filled with more relaxed time spent with friends. Today’s 90-degree weather couldn’t stop campers from sitting under the trees to savor the view we all love dearly. Campers packed their duffles, played on campus with their bunk, passed bunk inspection, celebrated with candy canteen, and headed to OTW for Shield Night. Every year, we gather one last time for each department to present age group awards for their activity, recognize specific campers for annual awards, like the ‘Spirit of Tripp Lake’ award, and end the night by awarding the winning Big Team with this year’s shield. After each award was given, it was time to announce the shield winner – campers crossed arms with their team and closed their eyes anxiously awaiting the results. After an incredibly close score, I was thrilled to announce that the Cubs Team won the shield!
Afterward, all campers went to campus to circle the flagpole one last time, to sing our five traditional songs together. We could not have asked for a more beautiful last night at camp. Tomorrow morning will bring a mixture of emotions for many campers, specifically our 1AB ladies, as they say, goodbye to their second home. The friendships they’ve made and the spirit of Tripp Lake will always bind them together for life. As Winnie the Pooh said it best, ‘how lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’ To the most amazing campers, the most beautiful young ladies – thank you for the memories that will last a lifetime.