A Walk in the Woods

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Hello from sunny Camp BT! Things have been positively buzzing around here the last few weeks, and we’re getting so excited to usher in yet another incredible summer! It’s been a beautiful spring that is quickly turning into an equally gorgeous summer, and the whole Chernov clan is enjoying the gorgeous Northwoods—especially Miles and Raya, who very much enjoys having an audience in the lodge at every meal.

I’ve been taking stock of all that happens here in the pre-camp weeks, getting tasks crossed off my giant To-Do list, and yesterday I crossed off the best item: my annual walk through the BT grounds. One of my favorite rituals for the start of each summer is a solitary walk around the entire camp. Though I do many walks through camp with our caretaker, Russ, to make sure all is in order, on this special stroll I take with me no friends, no family members, counselors, or toddlers hanging from my arms—just me and the land. The purpose of this walk is multi-faceted. First, I need to make sure that I still remember how to get around the place! But seriously, I like to take this walk to help me make my transition from suburban life to the much more beautiful and peaceful life that the Northwoods offers (well, as soon as the campers get here, that “peaceful” part might become a little more elusive, but happily so!). A pensive stroll through the woods gives me a chance to leave behind the hustle and bustle and get reconnected to the land that has been my home for nearly my entire life and that I, in fact, will be so connected to that I will basically never leave for the next three and a half months! The walk allows me to initiate that break we all take here—the break from the rest of society and all its fast-paced distractions, in order to get back to what really matters most.

I know I speak for the whole camp community when I say that the self-imposed exile from the intensity of the “real world” is a welcome one. At camp, we make a conscious effort to cut ourselves off from the rest of the world for a period of time. We leave behind the constant buzz and hum of electronics and find ourselves instead entertained by an evening sunset or lazy morning cup of hot chocolate on the lawn, glad for the change of pace on every occasion. Here, we don’t turn on the TV or radio and don’t even read the news (ok, I have to admit that sometimes I read the news…but I don’t tell anyone about it!) One of the benefits of this is that we truly get the sense that our entire world consists only of the hallowed grounds of Camp Birch Trail. This rich, bucolic setting provides good medicine for any adult, and even more potent stuff for growing kids looking to have some good old-fashioned fun.

One week from now, this quiet camp will be filled with some pretty fantastic campers. As staff and campers alike get prepared for the big adventure, we all share one thing in common—enthusiasm for the upcoming summer! For their part, the wilderness trip leaders, or “Trippers,” as we call them here, have long been at work mastering the skills that will help create fun, safe wilderness camping experiences. In fact, the Trippers just returned to camp yesterday after paddling over 110 miles on the annual Tripper Trip—that’s the entire length of the mighty Namekagon! And tonight, the rest of the Birch Trail 2012 staff will join the Trippers as we officially begin staff orientation week. Camp is already filling up with the vibrant energy of a kick-butt batch of staff members anxious to get started, and I can tell that it’s gonna be one very fun—and busy—week at Camp BT.

Many more adventures and updates to come as the summer rolls on, but for now let’s all bask in the pre-camp glow of incredible things to come.

One thought on “A Walk in the Woods”

  1. It sounds like a wonderful retreat. I wish we all had that opportunity to escape our reality for the summer. Do you take 40 plussers as campers?
    – Donna G.

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