I don’t mean to be melodramatic when I say that the decision whether or not to go back to Long Point Camp in 2015 has been one of the most difficult dilemmas I’ve faced.
I can quite easily say that the 5 months I’ve spent in America over the past year and a half have been among the best of my life so far. Reflecting on my time across the pond, I feel like the luckiest guy alive, having stumbled accidentally into something absolutely incredible! It may partly be rose-tinted glasses, but, to me, camp is entirely and inextricably associated with positive memories and great times. Anyone who’s been to camp knows that any/every topic of conversation is a trigger for a memory of camp and it’s actually impossible not to bore all your friends: “this one time at camp…” All camp-goers will also know that ‘post-camp blues’ is a chronic, lifelong and incurable condition, contracted your first year at camp, only temporarily treatable, from June to August each year, while you return to camp!
There is a strange transformation that happens at camp where complete strangers become best friends within days and like a family within 2 weeks. I don’t know whether it’s the like-minded people, the intense camp environment, or something in the water, but it’s something I feel truly privileged to have experienced, and many of my best friends come from camp and live all over the world!
So, why am I probably not going back after everything I’ve said? Well, simply – I don’t want to run it into the ground. I think there is a very real danger in trying to relive a previous experience, and you risk tarnishing your memories of it. When I left camp this year, I decided I wouldn’t go back and I think it’s wise to go with that instinct and just accept that ‘all good things come to an end.’ Also, there’s a rule at Long Point Camp, that if you do three years, you never leave. You only have to ask Nipsy or Stets, and they will happily tell you how addictive camp is!
In spite of this, thinking about not being there forces a tear to my eye. Missing out on all those friendships. Missing out on just chilling on the dock. Missing out on waterskiing, wakeboarding and tubing on the lake. Laughing until your sides hurt, then laughing some more. Going away on long break. Supporting the Syracuse Chiefs. Heck, maybe part of me will even miss camp food! I could go on…
And this, all this under the guise of a job! I suppose it boils down to a Heart vs. Head problem. Camp has been an incredible part of my life, and I’m not sure I’ll ever experience something like it again, but I know I will always have the best memories, instantly able to bring a beaming grin to my face. (Again, any melodrama is unintentional.)