One of my favorite pictures to take at camp is dads (and grandpas) going down the slide. I love the look of surprise and delight on their faces as they take that first trip down, but I also love the fact that they are even willing to do it at all.
As adults, we often fear making fools of ourselves, and how often does that keep us from cutting loose a little bit, taking chances, and really feeling like a kid again? David Allen was a camper and a counselor in the 50’s and 60’s and now gets to experience Deerhorn with his son-in-law and grandsons. He told me today, “I don’t know if I can keep up with them, but I’m sure going to try!” It’s amazing for us to have him back at camp, hear his stories of Deerhorn as a camper in the 50s, and see the joy on his face as he looks around and realizes that, even after 60 years, not much has changed.
For sure it is a blessing for us to reconnect each year with friends from years past, guys who have been campers and counselors and now return with their own sons. But this session we have lots of new faces as well, and it doesn’t take long before they feel like Deerhorn is home for them too. As I was walking back from the campfire tonight, I heard one of the young first-year kids, after having only heard Deerhorn Hall sung once, singing, “In Deerhorn Hall, in Deerhorn Hall, we can laugh and smile all day!” Yep. That pretty much sums it up!
I think there were many dads who were amazed at what they had been able to cram into this first day, even though they didn’t arrive until lunch time. I heard more than once, “I’m pretty sure we did almost everything in camp just in one afternoon!” We all enjoyed pulled pork for lunch and of course, spaghetti for dinner. After dinner we had a meeting to introduce the staff, and then played team sports before our first campfire of the session. It did not disappoint!
We say time and again that one of the coolest things about Deerhorn is that age doesn’t matter…in friendships or in fun. Many thanks to the dads and sons for sharing this adventure with us, and for reminding us that at Deerhorn, you’re never too old to be a camper!
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