Yesterday I was talking to coworker who next weekend is taking his 11 year-old daughter camping. Canoeing and fishing is on the agenda. We started talking about our camp days, but more our camp days as counselors. How when he was a counselor they had floor hockey competitions (alcohol included) until the wee hours in the night. I shared that we used to start off smoking cigarettes on the tennis courts, then maybe sneak into the woods to smoke pot. Others would pair off and go to their respective places around camp to nookie. There was little sleep that led to endless cups of coffee at breakfast to enable us to handle a morning full of songs, cheers, and convincing the same kid to get into the water at swim time or reassuring another that though she was homesick now to remember how much fun she had with her friends at the dance the evening before.
But I miss being a kid. I miss the year round letters and phone calls. The photo collages we used to make and send each other. There was something really special about these friends we had outside of school that we were so close too yet only saw 4 weeks of the year. I grew up with same gang for almost 12 years. A lot of that sadly changed when I had a falling out during college with my best camp friend–the self proclaimed queen bee who I felt turned a lot of people against me. I now realize it wasn’t her fault–it’s just life–and time moves on and we replace our life long camp friends with ones we met elsewhere like in college. These friendships didn’t survive time. It’s sad. These were the special friends of my youth.
It’s never too late to start again, and there are those you can easily pick back up with. I emailed one today to hopefully begin again:
Jules! How are you? I realized recently that your wedding was over a year ago (Happy Anniversary) and I haven't talked to you at all this year. I don't know where time goes anymore. I've been thinking a lot about camp recently--I guess it's the time of year I always do. I miss being a kid lost in the innocence of swimming in toxic lakes, showering amongst mildew and mold. Silly songs and cheers and bad meals served with bug juice. I ran into Vanessa this morning, do you remember from Year Course [the year we spent in Israel at age 18- the PhD of our years attending a Zionist camp]? I went to her house once the summer after YC, and there she was this morning selling produce at the Farmer's Market. She lives about 5 minutes from me...it's so weird. Anyway, it made my nostalgia that much worse today. I miss my camp friends! I don't keep in touch with anyone anymore...so I reach to you my Christmas Snow to get the ball rolling again. Hope life is fantastic and all is well in Atlanta. Miss and Love ya, Jack