It Still Feels Like Home
This weekend, alumni from Camp Wyoming’s past will gather together at camp to talk, eat, tour camp, and participate in activities like tie dye and hiking. Most of all, though, they come together to remember. There’s nothing quite like summer camp to fill your memory with stories of laughter, silliness, and wonder. And no matter how long you’ve been away, when you come back to camp, you feel all of the same feelings of excitement and anticipation and joy that you had when you arrived for the very first time. You come back and it feels almost like you’ve never left, like this sacred space set apart from the world has just been here, waiting. And even though so many things have changed…buildings have been remodeled, new trails have been blazed, and updates have been made…it still feels like home.
Every year, we at Camp Wyoming have the privilege of welcoming to our site hundreds of people, some coming through our gate for the very first time and some for longer than anyone can remember. However, all of these people, new and old, are part of a community that stretches back over 55 years. Whether you were part of the crew that broke ground for the very first time on this site or you will be coming to camp as a new camper just this summer, you belong here.
Ask almost any alumni to tell you stories of Camp Wyoming’s past, and they’ll tell you not just about the things they did and the places they went, but about the people they met and the bonds they built. Kids come to camp year after year because they forge strong relationships here in this place where they can be themselves in a way they can’t be anywhere else. Summer staff commit their entire summers, working long hours in the heat and the rain, because it is in this place that they feel welcomed, loved, and a part of something bigger than themselves.
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve had your own Camp Wyoming experience. You have your own stories to tell of friends you’ve met, adventures you took, and conversations held around the campfire. You know the songs, the skits, the stories. You’ve been a part of this community in some form or another, and you know that it is impossible to leave this place unchanged.
What did it feel like when you came to camp for the very first time? What experiences did you have? What questions did you ask and answers did you share? Who did you meet? What memories do you cherish? Think of these things, and then ask yourself, do you think it’s important for today’s children and youth to have those same opportunities? In this world and this environment, how could a summer camp experience impact and benefit a child?
You’ve been a part of this camp, this community. Won’t you be a part of carrying it into the future?