The poles were rigged. The boat was on top of the van (after two attempts and three new scratches ). And, all three kids were buckled into their seats ready for the 30-minute drive to our favorite fishing hole.
As we bumped and jostled our way through town and down the back-roads that led to the reservoir, we talked of the end of school, their all-important summer plans and, of course, tried to decide who was going to be first to row our 10-foot Jon boat across the lake (the good fishing is never on the same side of the reservoir as the parking lot – not that we would know from experience).
At the reservoir’s parking lot, we unloaded our boat, put it (and all our gear) on top of the wheelbarrow we brought for this specific purpose and started the 400-yard walk through the weeds and woods to the edge of the water.
As usual, we toppled a couple of times, ran one of the “holders” (those people who help balance the boat on the wheelbarrow) into the brambles and made more noise than a pack of hyenas fighting over a fresh kill. We also laughed. A lot.
And we didn’t stop.
Whether it was watching our intrepid 11-year-old oarsman first turn is in two circles then run us aground several feet from where we started or trying to figure out how to “land” two fish at the same time with crossed lines, laughter and noise were the name of the game.
As it turns out, you just can’t beat the combination of nature, adventure and freedom. Just mix in kids and you’ve got instant fun – and maybe a darn good learning experience.
Don’t believe me? Well, before you decide, take a moment to read Gary Forster’s “A Recipe for Magic” on page 10. He lays out the case for camp’s secret formula much more eloquently than anything I could hope to duplicate and does a great job of reminding all of us not only how special what you do really is, but how important it continues to be for all of us (not just our children).
This month we also introduce (re-introduce?) you to the great game of Gaga, walk you through steps you can take to keep your horse program safe, provide tips for maximizing your impact on seasonal staff (Benefits-Based Programming) , give you step-by-step games for quick add-ons to your current programs and much, much more.
As always, we had a blast putting this issue together and we hope you enjoy reading it. Feel free to drop me a note and let me know how we’re doing or advise us on a topic you’d like us to cover.
Till next month,
Rodney J. Auth