I got an unexpected phone call recently from a woman I didn’t know, inviting me to join the Facebook group devoted to my old Girl Scout camp
I grew up in one of New York’s outer boroughs (appropriately, Queens). My camp was on Lake Kanawauke, close enough that the bus ride was not intolerable for kids (today it’s just an hour’s drive from Manhattan) and wild enough for an abundance of deer, skunks, raccoons, snapping turtles, and the occasional beaver dam.
I couldn’t make it for the whole weekend, but I wasn’t going to miss the reunion. I found and dusted off my looseleaf book of campfire songs, packed my mosquito repellent and a bathing suit, and early on Saturday morning, away I went. I had an absolutely wonderful time! There was a small group of women who’d been at camp with me and a larger group between five and ten years younger. We hadn’t changed a bit, except for some heavy breathing where the trails went uphill and a few knee replacements and cancer survival stories. Most of us were still up for a hike and a swim.
The reunion took place at a camp on Lake Sebago, a low-cost retreat for groups and families that’s one of the few still open in the park, but we made a pilgrimage to our own camp, which closed in 1972.