There was no one there when we walked up the road. Obviously the camping season has ended. The place was deserted and picnic tables were piled up in front of the dining hall. This building was built one year, replacing an old and very decrepit lodge where we ate in the first few years I went to camp. It was a cheerful place with the light streaming in the big windows and its view of Scout Mountain. Today it is a little the worse for wear, but brings back a lot of memories.
This cabin, up the hill, a bit away from the other cabins, and the only one with a fireplace, was old when I was a camper. I was glad to see that only the door was painted the icky green.
What hasn't changed is the peace and beauty. The pines and aspens and wildflowers. The little creek that runs through. The rustle of the breeze high in the trees and that intoxicating smell of fresh air and evergreen.
It was never a fancy camp. No pool or waterfront. No horses. But I remember it for singing and for hikes and crafts and building fires and cooking outdoors and learning the names of plants and trees and telling stories around the campfire and sharing secrets in the dark and toasting marshmallows and snuggling deep into a cozy sleeping bag and falling asleep to the sound of crickets and a hooting owl. I remember learning to play the ukelele and keeping a notebook of all the songs I learned and singing with Lea, who made, even me sound good with her beautiful harmonies.
"I know, I know, you belooooooong to soooooombody newewewew,
but tonight, you belo-ong to me..."
Me, as a teenage counselor, third from the left
I remember stars. Dizzying. Just so many stars that you could almost feel the earth spinning through the Milky Way. Misty mornings, flag ceremonies, Taps. Friends—Lea, Kathleen, Renee, Elaine, Midge, Ruthie . . . I really, mostly remember my friends and how much fun we had.