TO THE GHOST OF THOMAS WOLFE: YOU WERE WRONG, YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN!
Are all the memories good ones? Of course not. We've all had our wonderful moments at Frost Valley, but every one of us has experienced difficult times. You can't work and live in a community without encountering the tribulations and hardships found in every other community on the planet. I know I've had mine. Some of them still hurt. So when Al asked me if I would consider a volunteer stint this summer I was a bit taken aback. Oh, let's be honest, I was scared to death! Hell, I'm going to turn 70 in December. Most of the work I did at Frost Valley took place when I was in my Twenties, and I hadn't worked at camp in thirty years! I didn't know if I still "had it". And I certainly didn't know if my LEGS still had it. (They seem to have doubled the number of steps between Lake Cole and Margetts and increased the slope of the paths to the upper villages!) More importantly, I wondered how someone from the distant past could add anything significant to the operation. Truth is, I thought I'd just be in the way. But here's the good news. It was a great week! My son Del, a former camper, CIT and JC, came with me to do his own volunteering. At Opening Campfire all of my apprehension disappeared. How can you not be happy after Opening Campfire. (Actually, two of them, one for Hird and one for Wawayanda.)
On the first day, we made ourselves available for Specialty Programs. Del signed up for various activities and I made myself available to take campers out on sketching trips and to help them start a mural in the Pottery studio. I fell into it without losing a beat. It all seemed so natural. But the greatest revelation of the week was not that I could still do my thing, it was the way in which the staff welcomed me and made me fit into it all so easily. What a staff! I don't know about you, but I kinda remember us doing most of what we did by the seat of our pants. We were good because we cared so much about the kids but I, for one, didn't have much real training. The staff I witnessed last week was incredibly well organized yet still had that same spirit I remember from our crazy days. I ended the week "leaving it on the field" as Al described it, visiting CQs, listening to ghost stories, gazing up at the Milky Way. You know what I mean. Hey, I know you all have jobs and kids and maybe grandkids and little or no extra time, but if you ever have the opportunity to volunteer for a session PLEASE consider it. Do it for Frost Valley. Do it for yourself. You can go home again. I'm glad I did.