Summer camp—what are your memories?
August 1, 2016
Did you go to summer camp as a child? I was so much a bookworm and so disinclined toward sports that I didn’t do much of that kind of thing. I have only a vague memory of one experience at a camp. I believe it was a scout camp, and my memories are of woods, sandy soil, bunks in a cabin, and really wishing I was at home.
Jacob suffers from no such inhibitions. He left yesterday for this third year at Sky Ranch in East Texas. This year, for the first time, he’s staying two weeks. And his buddy Colin Russell went with him—Colin has not been to Sky Ranch before and they will be bunkmates. I suggested to Jacob that he could show Colin the ropes. Jacob looked at me and said, “What ropes?”
Apparently Jacob did not sleep well Saturday night—excitement, though I doubt his claim of being awake until five and waking again at six-thirty is accurate. Nonetheless, he was excited and, as he said, a bit nervous. I assured him that was normal. I think he’ll have a wonderful time.
His excitement got me to thinking about the things in life I’ve missed by not being adventuresome, preferring a book over an amusement park. I have never, for instance, ridden a roller coaster nor do I intend to. I have never burned to travel, see distant places, have wild and exotic adventures. Several years ago a church leader called to say they had one seat left on an African trip and it had my name on it. I thought he didn’t know me very well. It’s an adventure to think about traveling to Chicago, let alone Africa.
Some of my kids love to camp. My idea of camping is a nice, comfortable motel with a hot shower, a cocktail lounge, and a comfortable chair for reading. I love the outdoors but on my terms—sitting by the lake at Colin’s house or the distant memory of sitting on a dune and watching the sun go down over Lake Michigan, smelling the lake, feeling the warm sand beneath me.
I’m not complaining that God didn’t give me the adventuresome gene. I lived my life the way I wanted to, avoiding situations that would make me uncomfortable, like roller coasters and camping. But I’m grateful that my kids and grandkids are more ready to fly out in the world—they ski, some scuba dive, they swim (something I’m now reluctant to do), they fly all over the country and abroad without a thought. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to reach out and grab all of life’s experiences—but it’s a chance I don’t want to take.
I hope Jacob has a marvelous time, and Colin sees the ropes.