I loved summer camp as a kid and started going away for at least a week each summer when I was 7 or 8. The trend continued though high school when I spent my summers as a camp counselor. I loved packing my duffle, grabbing my favorite pillow and sleeping bag and heading on the bus with my best friends to a place in the woods or on the Oregon coast. I loved singing camp songs and performing skits, playing capture the flag, hearing reveille wake us up, and taps before we fell asleep. I loved campfires and s’mores and bells that signaled it was meal time. Not to mention making sand candles and plaster masks, hiking and canoeing, and sleeping in rustic cabins.
So why all the nostalgia?! Well I discovered a beautiful 1930s era summer camp in Silver Falls State Park that brought all those memories back. The rustic cabins and lodges were built during the last economic downturn by the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of FDR’s New Deal. The workmanship of these places – the stone work and wood work in particular, is incredible. Not only did building these places help turn our economy around, but thousands, probably millions of kids have been able to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor for decades. I’m thinking of getting a big group together there someday – maybe next year to celebrate my 40th.