(Kate - second from right in bottom row -- and some of her bunkmates, 2010)
Kate is not having an easy time this summer. This is the first summer in nine years that she hasn't gone away to camp for eight weeks. Sadly enough, all good things come to an end and last summer was her final year at Camp Walden in Maine.
Kate loved Camp Walden. Honestly, who wouldn't. Eight weeks every summer in a beautiful setting next to a lake. Campfires, hiking trips, songs, and sports were only part of the allure. Really what made Camp Walden so special were the friends Kate made. If she manages to maintain those friendships into adulthood, she will have a group of friends so special that she will be set for life.
You can only be a camper at Camp Walden until the summer going into 10th grade and that was last summer. After that you're done. Sure, you can go back as a counselor after your freshman year of college but that's a long way off. For now, all Kate has are her wonderful memories and her wonderful bunkmates from years of living together each summer.
So despite having a comfortable bed to sleep in and good food to eat this summer (the beds and the food were not great selling points at camp), Kate is at loose ends. She's playing tennis for hours and hours every day but let's face it, Frank is a nice guy but he's a little tougher than your average camp counselor. Same goes for Kelly. Kate is feeling a little wistful for Camp Walden.
In an effort to see her smiling face, tonight I suggested s'mores for dessert. Kate was thrilled. She spent quite a lot of time describing why s'mores tasted better at camp -- I'm sure they did -- and all about finding the perfect stick on which to roast the marshmallow. I'm sure toasting a marshmallow over the barbecue isn't quite the same as doing it over a campfire but it seemed to do the trick. For now.
Who knows. Maybe tomorrow Kate will sing us some camp songs.
Recipe: The Perfect S'more
Place your marshmallow on a long stick. Over a hot fire, slowly toast the marshmallow so that it is melted all the way through. When it is done, slide the marshmallow onto half of a graham cracker and then top with a couple of squares of the Hershey Bar. Top with the other half of the graham cracker. Let it sit for a few minutes until the chocolate begins to melt.