The End Of An Amazing Weekend In New Hampshire With Our Camp FriendsJanuary 12, 2015
Sadly, the 15th annual Senior Camper Winter Weekend has come to an end. Yet again our campus in New Hampshire is quiet, as our Camp friends have all gone home until June. But what a weekend it was. The weather was absolutely perfect — cold enough that the snow was great for sledding and the lake remained almost a foot thick, and yet warm enough to enjoy being outside. We did just about everything we could on a snowy NH day: we sledded, we played football, we rode around on a horse-drawn sleigh, we skated, we played hockey, we hiked and we enjoyed the majestic night sky…both on its own, and when we launched an incredible fireworks display.
The beautiful New Hampshire night sky as we stood in the middle of the lake before launching the fireworks
Most importantly, we rekindled our friendships with each other. As you can see from all of the photos that I posted on our blogs and on our Facebook page, we spent huge parts of the weekend with our arms around each other. We hugged and then we hugged some more. Our kids and counselors reveled in the gift of spending all of this time with their Camp friends. It was, quite simply, a magical weekend.
What I will remember best about this Winter Weekend was all of the fantastic conversations that I had with campers and counselors, and all of the conversations that I saw others having as well. The entire community seemed determined to share every funny anecdote from last summer, along with every poignant memory. That’s what our community is all about. Each summer we help campers from almost 20 states and countries around the world figure out what they have in common and what they can accomplish together. Over the course of 7 powerful weeks they become so close that they learn to trust and rely on each other like they are all part of an extended family…which, in reality, they are.
After Scott, Deena and I dropped off the Boston and Rhode Island-area kids, and got the NY, NJ, CT, and PA kids onto the train, my family took two campers from Florida back to our house while we waited for their flight home. I watched as these two thoughtful, kind teenagers sat in my living room and interacted with my sons. They were such incredible role models, modeling the exact same behaviors that they had learned over the years from their counselors.
Later in the evening, as we sat having dinner in the airport terminal, these two campers barraged me with questions — and they were the sort that camp directors dream of. “How do I make sure I get to be a counselor in 3 years?”; “What makes a good Color War captain, and a good leader?”; “What are the mistakes counselors should never make?” and “How can I be an amazing Big Brother?” They told me about the counselors that have become their heroes and mentors, and how lucky they feel to be a part of the K&E family. As we waited for their plane we talked about so many different aspects of our community, and what they have learned from it since they joined. It was powerful and wonderful, and I was so sad when the gate attendant came over to say that they needed to board. I think that’s how everyone on this weekend felt as we said goodbye to one another.
The Senior Camper Winter Weekend is really the start of the New Year for our summer camp. As we come together it reminds us of what how much we miss each other, and how grateful we are that the start of the summer is only 5 months away. We look forward to seeing so many of our Junior and Senior campers next month at the Reunion at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, and our newest community members in May at the Boston and NJ area New Camper Parties. Thank you to everyone who took part in this incredible weekend, but in particular I would like to thank the 24 counselors who drove, took the train, and flew from all over the United States just to spend the weekend with our camp kids. As always, you guys made the experience for our campers. I speak for the entire Camp Administration when I say that we cannot wait to see each and every one of you back in New Hampshire this coming June.
Founded in 1930, Camps Kenwood and Evergreen is a brother-sister summer camp in NH for children ages 8-15. Our intentional community is dedicated to helping young people create deep, meaningful friendships that will last a lifetime.