Rituals and Readying


If you’re reading this right now, then you’re probably as ready to leave behind the dreariness of the polar vortex as I am… and jump past spring straight into summer! Who’s with me on that one?!


Here we are with the end of another school year just around the corner, and the beginning of a new camp season close enough for kids nationwide to practically smell the campfires in the breeze. It’s a great time of year for us all as we look forward to more time spent outdoors, and I can tell you that the air up here at BT smells mighty clean and clear, indeed.


I write every spring about how special this beginning phase of each summer is for me, and this year is no exception. Being back at camp during the quiet, cold mornings gives me a chance to reconnect with all the reasons I love this incredible land. Untouched by the sprawl of stripmalls and cell phone towers, unsullied by the noise of television chatter or honking horns, the blissful environment at Birch Trail has a ways of making the rest of the world seem drift to the background in a most pleasant, peaceful manner.


Though the ice just came off the lake on Wednesday and there might still be a patch or two of snow hiding in the woods, the weather has finally turned around in the last few days, allowing Caretaker Russ and his team to dig into finishing up some of our ambitious maintenance and improvement projects around camp. We’re in the final stages of construction on a brand-new Linden cabin (replacing old Cabin 12), as well as a brilliant new staff building that promises to surprise and delight several lucky staffers this fine 2014 summer season. Rounding off the heavy-duty jobsite list is Russ’s maple washhouse remodel, which boasts new-and-improved shower stalls as well as a newly drilled well that promises plenty of water pressure for our younger, Maple-age campers who often take longer showers. Kudos to Russ and the gang for their incredible hard work and dedication year-round!


As staff members roll in to camp in order to helps us get everything prepared around here, back home there are a variety of special, BT-centric countdowns helping your girls keep track of just how many sleeps are left until they’re in their cabins and reunited with camp friends. Now, of course there are literal countdowns of exactly how many days, minutes, and hours are left featured on many summer camp apps and sites. But kids tend to be a bit more creative than website designers when it comes to countdowns and pre-camp traditions (most of which include organizing and packing many a rainbow-colored clothing item). Like camp itself, these countdowns are full of ritual and meaning, all perfectly common and age-appropriate as your daughter gears up for an exciting and adventurous summer ahead.


So much is yet to come, and I know you’re all as anxious to get started as I am. But for right now, I’m heading out to take a quick stroll—one of my famous walks in the BT woods. These trees and grasses, rocks and roots have had to adapt to the shape of camp over the years; I figure the least I can do is focusing my attention on these surroundings and how lucky we all are to be in such a fine and beautiful place.



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