Tyler (T.J, as everyone at Deerhorn knows him) is a 2nd generation Deerhorn camper and will be the third Deerhorn leader in our family. I really feel very proud to say that and know both of my boys, Ryan and TJ, have grown up to be fine young men at the “Horn.” I myself still remember those fun summers at Deerhorn and love coming back to see the boys each summer for a weekend or two. TJ has the luxury/curse of having his older brother also be a counselor for the last few years at Deerhorn too. Ryan is graduating Denver University and wanted to come back one final year to be TJ’s counselor in Koogee 1. Couldn’t pick a better way to end his Deerhorn career either.
It all started with the “Phone Call” to be asked to be leader…the one time I lay my phone down and went to do something for an hour (workout) and it lights up with Patrick and TJ calling me. I guess the wrong cell number was given and TJ was being called by the other leaders but he had not received the “call” officially yet….boy did I get an earful when I got back to my phone. I called Patrick, and the “call” was made, and the universe went back to normal for TJ….
Time does fly and the summers have come and gone so fast, each year better than the previous for TJ. His last year, with Voyager, was his favorite to date. TJ has over the years learned to sail, horseback ride, shoot a rifle and bow and arrow, canoe, and learned how to get up on one ski last summer… finally.
TJ’s first summer as a camper was probably easier than most with his big brother already entrenched at Deerhorn. He loved his first year meeting kids from other countries and close by in Illinois too. Many of them are still friends today and I believe each of the Leaders were his best buds during his camp time at Deerhorn. I know the relationships he has formed will last a lifetime…mine have….
The amazing trips the kids get to go on leave lasting impressions on the boys and their time together. TJ could not stop talking about the Voyager Trip. He loved every second of the trip and being with the guys on the water and roughing it in tents for a week.
I have tried to drive TJ up to camp each summer, but he wants to get on the bus and “hang” with his friends on the bus. Last summer I noticed a little boy nervous and afraid to leave his mom to get on the bus. I asked TJ to help and he grabbed the young boy, who spoke broken English, and got on the bus with him. At that moment I knew all the summers my kids spent up at Deerhorn were worth it. I, too, grew up with Blaine and Patrick Broadbridge, and consider them my friends. I feel they have done an outstanding job shaping our my kids into young men over the summer through the Deerhorn creed.
I think I will miss coming up to see the boys as much as they will miss not coming to camp next year and moving on in their next phase of their lives…one in the “real world” and one a junior in high school… but I have a feeling an AC position is in the works if I know Patrick….
Rest assured that your kids will have a blast at Deerhorn and this group of leaders will make their experience one to remember for years to come.