Hey, Camp Fans!
Your camp stories were great this year! It was lots of fun to read through them all and now I’m excited to share them with all our readers online! We’re posting each submission right here on the Blog! Since I’ve finished announcing our ten lucky winners who took larger prizes, I’ve moved on to everyone else who got a $20 gift certificate as a show of our appreciation.
The following post is from Dina B. who wrote in to reminisce about her summer days at Raquette Lake and how she is thrilled to have shared her love for camp with her daughter got to love her summer stays at Camp Timber Tops! Here’s what she wrote:
“Full Circle—The love of camp Dina B. age 51
I was in 5th grade and my parents said it was time for me to go to sleepaway camp. 3 camp directors came to visit, sat in our living room, and showed us slides. I liked the guy with the nice smile and my parents liked that it was a traditional all girls camp. I got on a bus a few months later and drove 6 hours to Raquette Lake for 8 weeks. It was fun but I didn’t appreciate how much I loved it until December when I was missing the beauty of the lake, my newfound friends, and reminiscing about all the fun I had. Messy hair, no worry about boys, sports, and new incredible friends. Everyone was nice here. Our head counselor, Helene, reminded us each morning, “You don’t have to like everyone but you do have to be nice to them.”
Fast forward 8 years. My parents told me to enjoy my last summer as a counselor because it was time to get a real job. I cried for weeks over this loss. I kept my friendships alive and studied abroad with my camp bestie. To this day—my closest friend is one I met at RLGC.
Almost 25 years later I took my daughter to visit Raquette Lake and learned that the 8 week summer was now 7 and she said no way—I am not going away for the whole summer. I knew I needed to find an all-girls session camp that shared the spirit and values of RLGC.
Thankfully we found Camp Timber Tops. After visiting 6 camps as we left that one she said, “I think that's my camp mom” and I told her I felt it too. For 24 days for the next 5 summers I lived vicariously through her, searching through pictures daily, writing letters, and loving every story she shared. Covid hit and heartbreak of not being able to return. She cried for weeks and I consoled her by reminding her that this was only a hiatus and she could be a counselor the following summer and what a summer she had! She loved her girls just as I had so many years before. Now she is in college for the summer and was not able to return to camp—not by choice. She cried similar tears when she heard this was the only way she could attend the college she wanted. Lisa, our assistant director, would always say that Raquette will always be in our blood. She was right and Timber Tops will always be in my daughter’s. There is nothing like camp and I feel so lucky that we were able to give her the incredible gift that my parents gave to me.”
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this piece, Dina. I love that you could find a summer camp that was the best fit for your daughter. How nice that you can both share such a connection with your time away at summer camp. Unfortunately, as you have both learned now, summer camp has to come to an end someday. But those days will live on forever when you and your daughter trade camp stories with each other!