Yes, I realize we are nearing the end of those “summer camp” days, but I think there’s still time for you to have a summer camp experience. Perhaps you have already sent your kids back to school, and you have gotten back into the school routine with carpools and after-school activity schedules. Or now that the calendar has shifted, you find yourself adapting to a new/familiar routine. But did you have a chance to run barefoot through the sprinklers, eat a Popsicle under a shady tree, or just curl up and get lost in a new book for an entire afternoon? Let your imagination and your creativity have a play date.
Farmer’s Union Camp was not anything glamorous. Located at the edge of Whitewater State Park in the heart of Midwestern farmland, the camp had seen better days having taken abuse from the hundreds of summer campers over the years. But for my brother and me, it was a chance to experience life off the farm. We were eager to have the opportunity to stay in a cabin with kids other than our brothers and sisters from Tuesday through Friday night.
It was the trip of a lifetime. My one summer camp experience included hiking in a state park, sleeping in bunk beds in pine cabins with eight others, painting ceramics, and performing in a Fractured Fairytale skit which we helped write.
My mother had the ceramic fruit we painted on her kitchen wall for years. I remember the rainy afternoon we labored over the exact red we wanted for the apples and the perfect shade of yellow for the bananas. By the time my daughter went off to summer camp, her activities included horseback riding and panning for gold in the Colorado Rockies.
Take a minute to think about what your favorite summer camp experience was as a kid. Didn’t have one? Well, choose an activity and make it happen! Summer 2017 will soon be a memory. Give yourself the summer camp treatment!
photo credit: MEKnippel.CrookedLake.MN