Memories That Last A Lifetime


When I think back to my camp days, I can remember the names of the counselors who led the Color War teams. I can still hum the words that we made up to their college fight songs, and smell the toasted coconut marshmallows from "trunk" - that treasure trove of candy & junk our parents sent by the pound - back when we were campers.  We watched man walk on the moon, learned how to undo a flannel shirt that was not our own, and linked arms and sang "Friends, Friends, Friends" at the end of every evening activity. 


My son Ben and two of his best pals have been making those same memories for the past several years at a small camp by a pretty lake that I shall leave nameless. We heard last week that one of their beloved counselors was killed in Afghanistan. Word was passed by email. We shared the news with our boys, held them close, made our deposits, and planned for another upcoming summer. A summer dedicated, the camp has announced, to the memory of a soldier who made our kids smile - and I'm sure most of us didn't even know - tried to make the world a little bit better place through his service, in a place that is anything but camp.

These don't feel like very easy days to grow up in at all. My memories of camp are from the tumultuous '60s. And yet I remember it as a time of laughter, friendship and amazing love. I wonder how my boys will remember their summer camp days...