101 things about me

Monday, 9 August 2010

Stepping back 20 years...

Twenty years ago I was in the USA for the first time.
I was in traveling mode then, 22 years old and seeing the world with a backpack on my back. When I applied to go to Summer Camp in the USA through an organisation called Bunac, I filled out the application, sat an interview and left the rest in the hands of fate.

Tanglewood was where I was introduced to the summer camp way of life. And I loved it. Atfer one week of training and team building, the kids arrived. Some enthusiatic and full of bravado, others not so keen and needing more encouragement. Where nowadays they are stripped of their mobile phones and ipods, way back then they were not permitted to bring walkmans!

I remember the first meal, where the noise rose as counsellors settled their kids into the routine and they started to talk, squeal, yell and laugh with each other with mouths full and stories to tell...

And where kids sang before and after meals and all my dreams of summer camp USA came to life. It was like living in a movie!

There were leeches in the river where we swam, no electricity in the cabins, woodpeckers in the birch trees and porcupines in the field. And always an incredible meal waiting (much of it accompanied by maple syrup!!)

Six one week sessions and a two week session in the middle, a new batch of kids arrived every week and we were always on our toes. Of course when the kids weren't there, the counsellors had time to themsleves and lifelong friendships were built. For years now, Tanglewood has been calling me back. I have dreamed of coming here often and when I decided to return to the States, this was top of my destination list.

Camp directors Jim and Cindy have welcomed me and my Mum warmly into their home (not far from camp) and yesterday we had a tour of camp and across the weekend a small reunion of friends from the time.

And whilst there have been a few changes, a few more grey hairs, a few less hairs (in the case of the guys) and the addition of kids and partners, really we are not that changed at all. The way we laugh is the same, our smiles, our voices and our manner is all totally recognisable.

And we all remembered Tanglewood with fondness and light. It has been fantastic to visit and reconnect again.

Later in the week we hope to have lunch there with the kids which should be fun.

*Mum and I are the two in red. Love the fact that we all have big smiles on our faces!


Lori ann said...

How lovely! that's very cool Cinta, what a great connection you have with the U.S.
Is that you and your Mum on the end?

Ames said...

Love it Cinta, you're already looking so happy and relaxed! Glad it was a worthwhile trip back down memory lane.

Cathy {Tinniegirl} said...

Camp times = happy times. I did a couple of years of summer camp. Missouri, Michigan and Florida. Some of my happiest memories of my twenties.

There is just something magic about camp.

Lyn said...

It was amazing to see you again! We must keep in touch, brought back so many memories :)

Anonymous said...

Have been doing alot of cleaning out & found your cards from here!!!??? Am I a hoarder??? Thank god I am.
All my love 2 both of u. Lou

Mark Parry said...

What a nice pic! Maybe I can join you for the 30th reunion! I smiled at the pic of your lobster sandwich - "when in Maine...". Those peanut butter m&ms sound suspiciously similar to Reece's pieces.