Isn’t it strange how some memories stick with you for life? Even things that seemed so insignificant at the time, or that you were only peripherally involved in? Let’s talk about Birthday Meal, for instance. A somewhat minor camp special event (but don’t say that to Uncle Adam… it’s his favorite), Birthday Meal is an end-of-summer dinner with your birthday-month-sharing camp family. You learn a song about your month, dress up like your month (ie: October wears orange and black; November wears autumn colors), and decorate a cake depicting your month. At the end of dinner, one month will be crowned winner, which is decided upon based on song and cake, …. and then it’s over. It’s time for Free Play and campers completely forget about Birthday Meal. Except when they don’t….
If you ask your camper when someone’s birthday is, even if it’s someone from another bunk, they may not be able to tell you the date, but they’ll be able to tell you the month. They’ll shuffle through their mental files and picture that person dressed in green bottoms and a pastel top… which means that they are definitely a May birthday and dressed like a “flower”. Or that they wrapped themselves in a white sheet and carried an archery bow when they dressed as Cupid for the February song. Believe me, in no way am I here to compare the February and May Birthday Meal teams (for the May team was always the biggest and winning-est), but rather to illustrate a point. The memories we make at CGL are the most indelible and enduring memories there are. We remember what our best friend was wearing on our first day of camp when we were Inters. We know all the words to Color War songs from before we were campers because we always sung them on the bus to and from out-of-camp trips. We remember speeches given by certain people during Friday Night Services (Aunt Marsha’s Spoon Story, anyone?). We remember what our bunk had for dinner when we slept at the overnight site. We remember the order of the songs on every bunk mix/playlist we ever made (feel free to take a moment and explain to your children what mix tapes were).
While we spent considerably more time in the “real world” during the “10” portion of the “10 for 2”, the memories we make at Green Lane are so much sharper than other memories. Crystal clear. We can still smell them and hear them. It’s because they mean more. It’s because we’re with our favorite people in our favorite place. It’s because they are filled with the happiness and laughter of carefree days spent inside the arches.
Enjoy your April, camp fam. Soon enough our campers will begin filling their heads and their hearts with memories that, many years down the road, they will reminisce about with their friends and remember the best times of their lives.