I went to summer camp as a kid. There I got a significant amount of sun and mosquito bites; learned how to steer a canoe and play capture the flag; discovered how to make new friends in less than a day; created crafts that yes, I still have; developed an ability and desire to sit around a camp fire for a long time, sing songs and roast the perfect marshmallows for s’mores; and gained a deepened sense of faith and love for God.

I loved it. I loved the people, the smell of the air, the sound of the loons in the morning, the mist on the lake and the stars at night. I even appreciated the lack of sleep, the aloe vera needed to soothe sunburnt shoulders and stumbling around in the dark trying to find the outhouse (you know what I mean)- being the klutz that I am I would inevitably trip over some big tree root. *Ahem*

Cate is off to camp today for a week. This is not her first time, nor do I expect it to be the last. She already swims like a fish, adores jumping off the deep end dock over and over and over again, is keen to craft, sing and learn, and has an affinity for roasting marshmallows. I’m thrilled for her and admittedly a little misty-eyed: my little constant companion is going away and growing up. In many ways camp feels like a rite of passage.

I’m quite certain that Cate will return full of stories, sand, sun and s,mores: the stuff that memories are made of.

Oh, sweet summer camp.