‘Should I cry because it’s all over, or should at smile because it ever happened at all?’
And so the summer is over. It went quickly, or so it seemed. How could we have packed so much into such a short amount of time? The road trips and socials; the camping out and Twilight League; Big Ten and Canteen; Town Days and campfires; beach parties and Green and White; Sun and Wind, and British and American; late night basketball and Sunday afternoon hot dog cookouts; the Kawaga competition and Lazy Days. And so much more besides. It has been a real pleasure hosting your boys and being able to write about it every night. What a great group of guys they have been. Hard-working, honest, excited, enthusiastic, happy, friendly and willing to learn. It is your boys who make camp what it is. Without them there is no camp. It is for that reason that I urge you all to come back next summer so that we might make it an even better two months in the North Woods.
I am acutely aware that there are so many other things you could be doing during June, July and August. There is so much else besides camp which is why I want to thank you all for taking the trouble to support us and send your son to the Friendly Confines. There can be few people – campers and counsellors alike – who come here and are not touched by the camping experience in a positive way. Making friends and meeting new people is a given. Many people will lose some weight and get a little fitter; more besides will simply fall in love with the natural beauty that is the North Woods. Some might learn to swim or ski or fish, and others might perfect their golf game or catch some sun. My point is that there is something for everyone here, both young and old, active and not-so. Indeed, this might be the perfect place for a young man, amongst his own, playing sports all day long.
I am also aware that for some the next few days might be a period of difficult transition as they get used to not being woken up every morning by their favourite tunes piped into their room. They will have to get used to not hearing Taps at night, and not having Piggies bring them to their meals. A Canteen fix might not be available to them at 8.15 every night, and the lack of packages might be quite disarming for some. But I also know that they will adapt and get used to their new life back in the real world, at least until they can get back here next summer.
The countdown has begun and the clock is ticking. If the winter goes as fast as the summer goes then we will all be back here much sooner than you might imagine. Until then, let me please thank you all once again for helping to make this ‘the home away from home’ for so many people. It is a special place and I’m so glad we could share it with you.
Have a wonderful winter, and we’ll see you all in 2018 when we will be going for that ‘Three-peat’.
All is well in our world as I sign off for the last time this summer, so safely rest.