So, Mike and I met at summer camp. It’s the classic story: boy meets girl when girl is a young wisp of a thing and boy is a cabin leader 5 years her senior. Later, when girl is slightly older and therefore the situation is slightly less creepy, boy and girl become friends. A few years subsequent to this (when boy is a graduate student and girl just finished her last high school exam but a few weeks prior) boy and girl decide to enter into a mutually beneficial dating arrangement. A few years after THAT, when boy is quickly approaching eligibility for old age pension and girl is a fresh-faced university graduate, boy and girl enter into a legally binding expression of their love.
For that reason, and for a plethora of others, Camp Hermosa will always have an incredibly special place in my heart, so much so that we go back as often as we can. Luckily for us (and for the many campers who benefit from this cost-saving measure) the camp program relies very heavily on volunteers, which means in the last 10 years and in spite of having Real Grownup Jobs With Real Grownup Responsibilities, I think we’ve only passed one summer without spending at least a weekend there, sharing the best oatmeal porridge in the world and the best sunsets in the world with some of the best people in the world.
We’re off to Hermosa next week, where Mike will get to play his guitar and I’ll get to wander around organizing gladiator games and reverse scavenger hunts and photo slideshows and generally making sure none of the campers plunge to their deaths in the creek. Seriously, you guys, the “extra supervision” gig is about the best volunteer role around. My responsibilities are few, my involvement is great, and I can spend the week helping to make sure a bunch of kids have the kind of week that will keep them coming back over decades later. Plus it’s kind of in the job description that I need to do a lot of for camper watching, which works out well for me, because I like to keep an eye out for the bookish baseball-hating Bible-study-loving 11 year old with an obvious crush on one of the leaders, because you never know – we may be attending their wedding in 10 years. And that’s kind of the magic of the place in a nutshell.