Around this time last year, I read a blog post that talked about the stillness of camp as a "calm before the storm." I have a slightly different view. On the surface, camp is still. It is a perfect slice of nature where all kinds of wildlife make their temporary home. It is a place where I can sit and contemplate life's big questions while soaking up the sun and listening to the wind in the trees. However, if you know where to look, this time of year proves to be the busiest, most active, and my favorite time of the year.
Around camp, each one of our staff members are constantly doing something. Camp is a great place to host groups and our Camp Caretaker Miss Connie always makes sure everyone has what they need. Just this week we are hosting Family Advocacy's Women's Retreat and our Leadership Camp. That means that more than 60 people will need to be fed and housed just this week alone. When Connie is not making a group feel at home, she is busy making a menu for the summer and making sure that all the food gets here when it needs to. Connie is not the only one who is busy around this time of year.
I have had the pleasure of coming out to camp early every year since 2014 and helping Mike (the Camp Coordinator) and the long-term volunteers to set it up. Some of the things I have helped with last for many years. I have helped to repair old trails, make new trails, and build large structures like our firepit seating area. Other things that I have helped with need to be done like clockwork every year. We need to put out the Boomswim, bring out lifejackets, fishing poles, and canoes, open the pool for the season. This kind of thing has a rhythm to it. There are so many things to do before camp each year that we fill up two whole whiteboards with the list, but we always know we will get everything up and running in time.
In closing, I will say that during this time of the year camp does look still on the surface, but it is more alive and active than most of the year just underneath it.
Noah is serving as a long-term volunteer and an AmeriCorps Educator/Summer Camp Counselor at CAP's Camp AJ. He is a member of the Jackson Volunteer Community. Opinions expressed in volunteer blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of CAP or the Volunteer Program. If you would like to learn more about CAP's Volunteer Program or connect with a current volunteer like Noah, please contact us.