As a child, I was a summer camp drop-out. While my older brother began packing his bags weeks in advance of summer camp season, my stomach churned at the mere thought of spending a night away from home. The lure of canoe expeditions, council rings, and gimp bracelets was no match for my homesickness.
Flash forward twenty years. I’m calling my brother on the phone to request ideas for campfire songs and nature games. I picture him leaning over a pile of important paperwork as he answers, “Why are you asking me? You’re the summer camp director.”
Fate is truly a fickle thing. My brother, former camper, camp counselor, canoe director, and even (briefly) camp cook, has a high-powered job that keeps him in the car or office five days out of seven. I, on the other hand, am indeed a summer camp director. “You’re right,” I tell him, “I have enough ideas for this year. Go back to your paperwork.”
“No, wait!” he cries. “Have you tried Fuzzy Bunny? Or Ram Sam Sam? How about the 12-Inch Hike?” If I don’t stop him soon, my brother will arrive at the Arboretum bearing hula hoops and butterfly nets.
It’s not often that we are given a second chance at missed childhood opportunities. A second chance at stream wading, relay races, s’mores roasts, gluey crafts, sprinklers, Red Rover, and warrior paint.