Friday, August 5, 2011
After four hours of driving from Vermont to Maine, we missed the turn that leads into Camp Forest Acres. Panicked that we would miss dinner and excited to return to camp after so many years, we turned the car around, found the way into camp, grabbed Phoebe and rushed into the dining hall. We were greeted by 120 girls singing, "We welcome you to FAC we're mighty glad you're here..." Phoebe's eyes were wide open, mine were filled with tears. Forest Acres had been my summer place for 8 summers. I loved every minute of my time there and it very much molded me into the person I am today. I hadn't been back in more than two decades, and yet it was like it was only yesterday that I sat at those tables and sang those songs a the top of my lungs. The days that followed were jammed packed with activities, teaching creative writing for me, yoga for Alana and dozens of new friends for Phoebe.
For three nights, we slept in Cabin 3 (Alana on the floor) and disconnected from the real world. Time moved so slowly that after the first day, Alana and I looked at each other like we'd been there for weeks. It was wonderful to see my niece Jordan, a true camper now after 3 summers, totally connected to the FA world and now connected to me in a whole new way. She and her cabin mates pulled Phoebe right into their world and made her one of their own in no time at all. I am so excited to have my daughter be a part of Forest Acres and for her to get comfortable with going back year after year. It was amazing to reconnect with old friends, even one of my counselors, who is still working there. I realized that camp is truly the fountain of youth. Those who have kept camp as part of their lives look as young and vibrant as they did when I went to camp. Forest Acres and Indian Acres welcome new campers every year, and yet they are stuck in time in such a beautiful way. How comforting to know there is still a place where kids can go to develop friendships without the use of technology, where they can discover themselves in a way they could never do at home, where they can just be. I absolutely can't wait o go back next year, and hopefully, for many more summers after that.