Sunday, August 11, 2013

Because of My Mother

Camp Lookout is a very special place to me for many reasons. It is a place for children to create bonds that last a lifetime, where my husband and I first started dating, but most importantly, the place that I found myself at, two weeks after the death of my mother.

Growing up I spent every summer vacation until I was a junior in high school camping. I also spent many summers at summer camp both day and sleep away. It was the summer after my sophomore year in college that I began to work at summer camps. I had the opportunity to work at Crystalaire Camp, Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha, and Camp Lookout. It was through these experiences that I found life long friends and a husband! It was also these experiences that helped define who I am today and got me through one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with.

Camp changes people, and it definitely changed me. If you have never spent time at a summer camp, you are missing out! The bond you create with the people is priceless.  There is just something about camp friends. But camp is also not for everyone. There are some who spend one or two summers there. They have tried it out, and it just isn't a good fit. Then there are the ones who live for those 2-4-6-or 8 weeks every summer. They keep coming back because the people they have met are an extension of their family, and it is just a magical place!

For the past two years I have been taking my daughters to a mother-daughter weekend at Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha. They both live for this weekend. They also spend every day talking about it after our weekend is over until the following year! Although they are young, camp has changed them. It is my hope that when they turn nine, they will both want to go to camp, just as I did.

This past summer, my son went to his first sleep away camp. To say he loved it would be an understatement. He didn't want to leave and is already talking about next summer.
Camp is a place to help children develop into responsible, confident, independent, and well rounded kids. It is also a place where bonds are made and cannot be broken.

I had a flood of emotions rush through me when I watched the Camp Lookout video that can be seen if you click on the link at the end of this post. Days before my mother closed her eyes for the last time, she told my me that her mother, father, and sister Sally were here to get her. All three of them had passed away years before but it gave me comfort to know that she wasn't alone after she took her last breath.

Two weeks after my mother had passed, I found myself at Camp Lookout, reacquainted with a boy I had met years earlier. This time around we were both older and things just clicked. We began dating and eventually were married. We have been together for 15 years and this October we celebrate our 10th anniversary. I can't help but think that so many years ago, my mother, two weeks after she had passed away, sent this boy to me.

                                            Today at Camp...Camp Lookout Video

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