|Visiting day, 2007|
Kate and Ted on Walden Pond
(This is one my all time favorite camp pictures)
Oh, don't look at me as though I sent them off to prison. They went to camp, for heavens sake, where you get to do fun stuff all day. Stuff that you would never get to do at home... at least not everyday for two months.
Charlie went to camp in the high sierra mountains of California. He started there when we still lived in California and continued through even after we moved to Pittsburgh. Charlie loved his summers filled with canoeing, hiking, and eating s'mores. Gold Arrow was Charlie's place for many years. (More on Charlie's camp adventures in another post, but suffice it to say, I will have to obtain clearance from Charlie before I proceed.)
Kate took a different summer camp route and went to Camp Walden in Denmark, Maine. You may remember Camp Walden from The Parent Trap, which was based (loosely) on Camp Walden and its founder Mrs. Herz. (Take note: Camp Walden does not have an isolation cabin...) Kate loved being at Walden It was, and still is, her place. In fact, it was at Walden that her love affair with Maine began.
While this summer will be a very different experience for Kate, the really wonderful thing about Walden is that the more things change, the more Walden stays the same. From what I have heard, Walden is essentially the same magical place as it was at its founding in 1916. The girls still wear their orange ties to bunk shows on Friday nights. They wear uniforms (brown and tan). They sing songs that only they know. They yell and scream and sing at the top of their lungs in the dining hall. The eat congo bars and pizza on Friday nights and schnecken on Sunday mornings. Every Sunday they have Thanksgiving for lunch. They sit on EA rock and contemplate whatever strikes them. They play on the tire swing and they make giant snake lines through the whole camp. When they sign a letter home they always end with EAO. (I have absolutely no idea what that means -- I'm not even sure Kate does.)
Just thinking of Walden makes me a little teary.
So, in honor of summer campers everywhere, have a great time. Try new things. Sit on the floor in your bunk and play jacks. eat too much candy on visiting day, perfect your s'more, and make your own memories. I know Kate is.