Summer is here. Time for picnics, lightening bugs, and the smell of Coppertone. I have fond memories of long summer days spent building tree houses, catching crayfish, and just laying in the fields, watching the clouds go by with my best friend when we were young. As a teenager I spent some great summers hanging out at an old strip mining hole that had filled with the coldest, clearest water you’ve ever seen.
What summer really makes me think of, more than anything, is summer camp. I spent some of the best summers of my life at Camp Wood Haven Girl Scout camp, first as a camper and later as a counselor. This time of year makes me yearn for those cool, damp, green mornings, waking up in my tent to the sun just peaking through the leaves, while the mist clung to the undergrowth. The smell of earth and hemlock and leaves still clings to my memories. I dream of cooking out on Teardrop Island, taking creek hikes, riding horses, walking along Wood Haven Way. I have never felt as at peace as I did walking those paths.
I can’t wait to go back in five or six years. Then it will be the girls’ turn to make their own camp memories.
This summer I’m looking forward to showing the girls all the wonders of the season. I can’t wait for their first dip in the pool, showing them their first lightening bugs, and, most of all, celebrating their first birthday. A lot has changed since I was a kid, but some things, like the joy of cold watermelon on a hot day, will always be the same.