A longtime camp mom recently jumped into the world of children’s books with Juneymoon. It’s a sweet story about the adoption of a new dog after losing their beloved, longtime pooch to old age. The subtitle explains the book perfectly: the story of a perfectly imperfect dog.
While my boys are a bit past the age when they’ll let me read to them, I’m always on the lookout for something to read my young nieces. Juneymoon is perfect for them: it’s about a high-spirited dog and the young girl who is trying to train and welcome it into the family.
And, as most things do these days, Juneymoon reminded me of camp.
For those who were a part of the family in 2019, we had a tremendous summer. The weather was beautiful, the kids frolicked without a care, and the food was the best yet. (I still miss that salad bar….)
Campers and staff arrived from 15 States and 14 different countries. We had our first camper from Saudi Arabia, more former campers on staff than ever, and a group of CITs who were among the first kids I met while rebuilding camp.
Visiting Day was a complete blast. Families streamed in anxiously awaiting their kids. Chef Daniel knocked the food out of the park and the weather, much like it had been all summer, was glorious. And our staff… wow. They were just fantastic from Day 1 of Orientation all the way through the frenzied last day of clean-up.
Summer 2020 had to be just as good, if not better… right?
Juneymoon’s Summer Camp
Well, we all know how that turned out. Last summer got derailed by an unexpected virus. Thankfully, we’ve learned a lot since then. We’ll be ready to make Summer ’21 amazing… if a little different. Our kids need it. So do I!
In the story, young Izzy struggles with new dog June because all she could remember were the great times with her old dog, Eli. To Izzy, “Eli was absolutely perfect.”
Our returning campers will arrive remembering that perfect Summer 2019. Enjoying this summer with masks on, Covid-tested, and ‘podded’ over the first several days of the session will most likely make Summer ’19 look all the more fun.
It’s a very natural and expected response. When we look back on our past, we remember a lot of good. We rarely remember the easily-forgotten “bad” things: an argument with a friend, rain canceling our tubing time, the counselor who you felt was a little too strict, the sad moments after speaking with your parents, your tribe or team failing to win.
While we can certainly look back favorably on Summer ’19, we also have to realize it wasn’t perfect.
Campers, we’ve got to look forward to Summer ’21 even more. In spite of the fewer number of international kids and staff members. In spite of the daily health checks and the greater number outdoor activities. In spite of the masks when we are mixing and the all-bunk activity program for the first week.
A Perfectly Imperfect Summer
Yes, this coming summer will be different than past summers. Here’s the funny thing: camp is always a little different each summer. Campers, while you don’t feel like you change much between the summers, you do. So do the staff. And so does camp.
Yes, we’ll have some new things to get used to. But that’s the same every summer. There are always new staff members, new amazing evening activities, new kids in the bunk. This leads to a bit of getting used to things each summer.
No matter what, these little frustrations will be totally worth it. Why? Because we’ll be together. And, I bet the more you get into the experience, the more fun you’ll have and the less likely you are to worry about things that may be different.
Get ready for a perfectly imperfect summer, Weequahic. We can’t wait!
PS: If you’d like to purchase a copy of Juneymoon, you can find it here. It’s very well worth the read!