Monday, March 24, 2008

Camp

I went to camp for 10 years. Ok, 11, if you count the summer I went to girl scout camp. I loved camp. Camp allowed me to venture out and learn how to be my own person. I was no longer sheltered by my family, but instead made a whole new family. I went to Pinemere Camp in the Poconos. It was not your typical camp. It was quite rustic. My first year there in 1980, they had just opened the pool. Before that, all swims were in the lake. We still used that lake for paddleboards, swamping canoes, disrobing (a life-saving technique - don't let your mind get dirty), polar bear swims, etc. This camp was great b/c it wasn't a sports camp and for me, that made all the difference. My days were spent figuring out how to spend more time flirting w/ the boys. We went on day-long and overnight canoe trips along the Delaware, had Friday hikes down the street or up the side of Camelback Mountain. It was a Jewish camp; we kept kosher, said prayers before before meals, the sh'ma at flag raisings, and had Friday night and Saturday morning services where we wore whites.

One of my favorite camp memories was Saturday morning sing. After services we all gathered around the lower maple tree and sang folks songs. I can sing these songs in my sleep. As I got older, a few Grateful Dead songs made their way into the song list, but certain songs remained. Hey Lolly, The Cat Came Back, This Little Light of Mine, Rattlin Bog, Frankie and Johnny, Mountain Dew, the list goes on and on.

Camp was not about the accommodations or the equipment or sports. Camp was about friendship and to this day I can get together with my camp friends and it is as if no time ever passed.

I write this b/c Pinemere lost a very dear friend last week and his funeral was today. Bob Miner was Pinemere in my mind. He had been a figure there since 1958. It was Bob's values and traditions that really made Pinemere what it was and still is today. A testament to how much Bob touched our lives are the number of friends and family that gathered today to remember him. One of the most touching parts of the service was when his son played the first parts of a CD that Bob recorded; camp songs that I hadn't heard in years. As the song, Freedom/Come & Go With Me played, soft mumblings were heard until the whole room was singing, "Come and go w/ me to this land/ Come and go w/ me to this land." It was a fitting was to pay tribute a man that made a lasting impression on generations, including me.


Bob w/ members of my CIT year at our 20th reunion - August 2007.

1 comment:

mariss said...

Oh, I always wanted to go to sleepaway camp like that. It sounds like a really great place, and very formative to the person you've become.

I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. It sounds like he touched many lives, and that his funeral was a wonderful tribute to his life.