Every year about this time, the gates of Camp Laurel are flung open wide as alumni near and far make their way to their former summer home in Readfield, Maine. It gives us great joy when former campers come back – and they are always welcomed with a big smile, a huge hug and a lot of nostalgia. One of the things that alumni tell us is that the personal experiences they had at camp often eclipse the experiences they have at home. At camp, they say – and we agree – the intensity level and the human interaction level is unbelievably high. It’s 24/7 for 49 days…and it doesn’t stop. There’s no break. And learning to live, share and thrive in that kind of environment is perhaps the greatest skill we give our campers.
As we head into the next 10 days of camp – and while regular program takes on a new dimension as we begin to morph into College Days – we often remind our current campers that although they may have dropped a ski this summer; they won a baseball tournament; they acted for the first time in a theatre production, the all-time greatest part of camp is the day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and minute-to-minute interactions they have with their friends, cabinmates and counselors. That’s what they’ll take away most.