“Hey Greg, what is your favorite thing about Camp?” I have been asked that question an infinite amount of times. It seems like an easy question to answer, but it’s actually not. It’s got to be Council Ring, right? Lake Balfour? Olympics? An intense double period of Intermediate Hoops Leagues? The drama of an unseeded player Making A Run, Bruno!? The quick drama of a classic Army/Navy Day Break? The drama of a Soccer Shoot-out on the Lower? Baco loves a good soccer shoot-out. The drama program? I mean, who doesn’t love The Big Show? Hanging on the slopes with campers and counselors? A Funhouse hang during 5 o’clock Clean-Up? TWELVES?! The answers are endless. But, alas, I think I finally have found the answer. And I found it during Family Camp.
Yes, Family Camp was fun…but it wasn’t actual Camp. We missed the fun & energy of ALL the campers and the leadership & positivity of ALL the counselors. But, as I was taking in all the wonderful things about Family Camp… hearing the opening and slamming of Bunk doors (or as Jerry refers to it, “the rhythm & sounds of Camp”) while campers & parents ran off to the upper field, the hoops & tennis courts, and of course lovely Lake Balfour, I think I finally discovered what it is that I love most about this phenomenon we call Camps Baco & Che-Na-Wah.-
For those of us who were at all three weekends of Family Camp, we clearly noticed how different each weekend was. Waiters Weekend #1, with many of the Waiters of 2020/2021 and their fathers, was a bucket list item (consciously or subconsciously) for many, if not all, of the Waiters and parents. It was so special to observe them operate as one unit, enjoying the physical aspects of camp, but more importantly, each other. The uninhibited happiness, competitiveness, and pure joy was palpable. And…the best part, was that everyone knew it. These guys spent countless hours on the courts, in the Superdome, or on the Lake. Just the way they drew it up. And they relished every single moment of it…Together.
Weekend #2 was quite different- Campers of all ages, boys & girls, appreciating Camp just as deeply, but with a different agenda- Lake, lake, and more lake. While the parents (many of my closest friends) enjoyed their time in the mountains of Minerva together, it was magical to see all of the kids enjoy the fruits of camp, the way they wanted to…which is very different than a bunch of 16 year old boys. Personally, there was a unique sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to spend time with my friends at camp (weirdly, something that I never get to do in the past 20 years), but even more so, to see all of their children running & playing in the free outdoors, Together.
Weekend #3 was a bit of a mix of weekend #1 & #2. Campers of a wider range of ages, parents from different generations of camp, and families that are new to the Baco CNW Family. And once again, EVERYONE took advantage of the opportunity to spend time in camp, the way they enjoy camp, with their friends, their family…Together.
So, after spending time at Family Camp, with lots of down time in between weekends, specifically by myself in the middle of Lake Balfour on a paddle board… I finally figured it out. I finally connected myself to the thing I love the most about Camps Baco & Che-Na-Wah… It’s really quite simple- Camp provides for us, our own individual version of Happiness, Laughter, Appreciation, and Friendship…together. We each might have certain things we prefer to do… sports, lake, arts, the outdoors.. but when we do these things together, at camp, we all can access those endless moments of unbridled joy, deep belly laughs, ridiculous inside jokes, and appreciation for one another. Family Camp gave us a way to realize this magic even more.
Let’s take this togetherness, this joy, this appreciation for Camp and bring our best love for Baco & Che-Na-Wah as we approach Summer 2021. Like every other summer, it will be the best summer ever. But unlike every other summer, 2021 will be the most important. And I can’t wait to see ALL OF YOU enjoy camp in 2021, the way you enjoy it best… As long as we’re Together!
PS: Mr. Physiculous- you’re ridiculous.