Wow! Hitting the big 80 in the merry month (give or take a few serious snowstorms) of March is fairly startling for this kid!
Having been at Echo Lake for 73 years is almost equally amazing.
I am so grateful for both – the age thing I don’t quite believe although all signs point to its accuracy!
Some incidents of late have driven home something I have always said and felt. It has to do with the motivation that has always been the driving force of what we do at Camp. It has been true since 1946 and has continued through three generations of leadership. It is our hallmark and our badge of success since inception so I have every reason to feel it will always remain.
And that is our dedication to teaching and reinforcing certain core values to everyone in our Camp Family – values of decency, fairness, and respect for the individuality and uniqueness of every child who comes to Camp and grows up under our aegis. Respect for staff is key. The highest quality staff who possess those same qualities are a critical ingredient of what makes Echo Lake Echo Lake. And, of course, leadership at the top is the constant that keeps this ethic very firmly in place. Each and every fuzzy to each and every camper and counselor exemplifies the values we espouse and live by!
What I have always said and felt is that there is a little piece of us inside every child who comes to camp here. And just as true is that there is a piece of every child who has ever grown up with us who occupies a place in our hearts.
The thrill of seeing alums when they come to visit is so, so special. When our alums send their own children to join our family this is a huge plus in my heart, I’ll tell you.
And we rejoice in the success of all our campers, alums and staff. When any of them bleed we feel that pain and sorrow, too. In most cases we have been part of their growth for all the many years they are with us – usually eight as campers.
And that, I guess, is what love is all about. And that love is what Echo Lake is all about.
And that has enriched my life for 73 years. I have the good luck of spending every summer from beginning to end at my favorite camp. I plan to continue until I have no more summers left!
Much love to all of you who read this.