The Seasons of Camp

Camp has a rhythm. It has an ebb and flow like nothing else. Growing up here I’ve become accustomed to the strange beat of the world around me, but we are forever baffling others.

Most people are busiest on Monday through Friday with the workweek easing off on the weekends. In the winter our schedule is the opposite. Toward the middle of the week we are gearing up for another rental group, the group comes on the weekend, and we take a bit of a breath at the beginning of the week around Monday and Tuesday. From the middle of December to the end of March my husband does not attend church. He cant, he has work.

April is a slower month. Although, this is when we are reading staff applications and agonizing over our staffing choices for the summer to come. But we try to grab some time with friends and family before summer camps rush in full upon us. May is packed with rental groups and last minute craziness as we scramble to get everything ready for the busy summer season.

We have week-long rental groups in the summer and we also run our own set of camps. For these camps we must choose and train our summer staff and then it is full blast ahead with a workweek of five 17-hour-days, one ten hour day, and Sunday where we do spend the morning together going to church, but Scruffy needs the afternoon and evening to do cabin assignments and talk to campers and parents and counselors on the phone answering all of the important pre-camp questions that go with the week of camp that’s coming up.

When summer camp ends it is so bitter sweet. We hate to see the campers and counselors go. We hate to have them walk out of our arms and lives and back into a world that is so much more difficult than hikes to Inspiration Point, Smoore’s by the campfire, and Morning Jam (singing praise songs in the amphitheater) with Choco. But it is also good, because my husband hasn’t really slept for a couple of months and we’re all a little bit weepy and twitchy.

Fall is the time to recover, to rest and do the piles and piles of office work that has jammed up Scruffy’s desk over the summer, to work on our tree fort and float the river, and gather fire wood and get ready for the rental groups to come. Yeah, we have a few camps in the fall, but we also get to recover.

So if you were wondering what happened to us, why we disappeared off the face of the earth for the entire summer, don’t worry. We’ll be back in the fall. If you are confused about not seeing Scruff at church for three months, don’t be concerned. You will see him again on the fourth Sunday in March. We are here. We are just riding a whole different set of currents than most of the rest of the world, following the strange seasons of camp.

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