From Lemons to Lemonade with Matt Lemoine: Camp Stories
As we look forward to Camp Echo Lake’s 75th summer and Reunion next year, I can’t help but think about all the stories and memories that will be shared across generations. Being (recently) married to an Echo Lake Alumni and working for Camp year-round, I am fortunate to meet people from all different eras of Camp and hear about their experiences at The Lake. Truthfully, beyond the magic of the summer and the beauty of Camp’s setting, it is these stories that color what I have come to cherish about Echo Lake.
As I am sure you would agree, whenever you meet up with Camp friends, it is not long before stories from past summers come up. An Echo Lake reunion is not complete without laughing at funny memories or debating the different points of view on a shared experience.
My first experience with this was in my first summer at Camp in 2010. I remember dropping off my bags at my orientation bunk (9) and walking up the bunk line to Bunk 27. That summer’s Group Leaders were sitting on the porch laughing, reminiscing, and telling stories about past summers. I didn’t talk much (surprising, I know), but listening to them share their stories made me excited for all the stories and memories I was going to craft in my own experience at Echo Lake. Fast forward ten years, and I have more stories than I can count.
For me, my favorite story was the first day of Master Orientation in 2011. While this story is often debated among my friends, I remember during an all-camp game of “rock, paper, scissors,” I matched up with a girl named Julie and made a bit of a fool of myself by not knowing the rules of the game (I didn’t realize you had to say “shoot”). We had a good laugh at the moment, and decided to spend a lot more time together of the next 8-years & 3-months when we were then married… a story I will never forget!
In 2019 alone, if we took every person who was at Camp and added up their total number of “summers,” there would be 3663 jam-packed, story-filled years at Echo Lake to look back on from just this summer!
Some memories are big, some are small, but one of the best ways I can think of to celebrate the 75th reunion is to share some of these stories with each other. So the next time you are with another Echo Laker, or you meet alumni, ask them to share their favorite story from Camp!
So share a camp story – call up a friend, tell your parents, post on Instagram, share, share, share!