After another great reunion this year, I am reminded how much fun it is to get together with camp friends and reminisce about old memories, while making new ones. Whether it is the official reunion, or other get-together opportunities, getting together with Echo Lakers from all over the country (and world), is one of the best parts of our camp community. It is, however, a little bittersweet at these events, because even though your get to see everyone, it can be hard to say goodbye at the end. But there are many ways to turn even the “lemon” of long distance friendships into “lemonade.”
As many of you may know, I am originally from Nova Scotia in Canada, and despite having a few Nova Scotians at camp, almost all my Camp friends were all over the world. Fortunately, we live in a time when staying connected with people is easier than ever if you are willing to put in a little bit of time. When I was in elementary school, and one of my closest friends moved to Montreal, we rarely kept in touch with the occasional letter. Today, I can keep in touch with friends and family from all over the world in countless ways.
These are just a few ways that I keep my camp friendships going:
- In a world of constant texting or instant messaging, one of the best ways to keep in touch is to set aside some time for a phone call. This can be a short catch-up, but sometimes I like to coordinate a little longer of a call to just have a conversation as if we were hang-out in person.
Email or Texting Threads:
- I am sure everyone keeps in touch in this way to some degree, but threads are a great way to share funny jokes, talk about what’s going on day-to-day, plan future meet-ups, and just generally reminisce about camp.
- This is my personal favorite but it does not have to be exclusive to football fans (there are leagues for everything from Pro Fishing to Cricket). I am in a basketball league with several Echo Lake alumni and friends, and offers a great opportunity to stay connected while maintaining a common focus and interest.
- Not everyone is into fantasy leagues, so another way to stay in touch while driving a common interest is to coordinate a book or movie that you are going to read/watch and then discuss your thoughts. This may sound a little bit like school work, but I promise, pick a good option, and it is a lot of fun.
- It is great to coordinate full visits with people, but I find it is also nice to be cognizant of when you are travelling somewhere and a camp friend is nearby. Next time you are on the road for a tournament or meeting, see if any camp friends are around and would be free to meet.
Other Camp Events (i.e. Main Village Winter Weekend):
- Of course, if you are interested in staying connect with camp friends, there is really no better way than to reconnect at camp events. Our big Main Village Winter Weekend in March is a great opportunity for staff and campers to see their friends and enjoy Echo Lake in the snow.
There are many more ways to keep in touch but regardless of what you do, there is a required level of effort organization that goes into staying connected. Don’t be afraid to pick-up the phone or send an email when you haven’t spoken to someone in a while. I promise you will quickly be talking like no time has passed!