A thank you letter to those who have given the gift of camp…

We the recipients of this world class – life changing gift want to say thank you.  Thank you for giving us summers spent at camp.  Your gift, whether for three weeks or ten plus years, has created a place within our soul where happiness and confidence reside side by side. It is a place that we can reach into on the coldest of days and re-use the strength and light to provide for ourselves and those around us.  Perhaps you gave this gift of camp decades ago or just last summer – please know that each day we use it and cherish it.

In this age of reduced recess, iEverything, where even email is becoming passe, we are the ones who connect with our natural world at a deeper level.  We have seen sunrises and sunsets, heard the loons echoing across the lake, lived with spiders (and gotten along) learned that rain is beautiful and not an inconvenience.  We have sat with true friends, sung songs and absorbed the beauty of an evening campfire.  We have run pell-mell through fields as the evening turned to night, determined to complete the Evening Program created for us by our cherished counselors.  We have made it to the top of mountains that many do not even know exist and paddeled lakes that seem not to have any end.  We have learned to shower less, laugh more, and appreciate the joy of a true friend.  Your gift has given us all this.

We see the value in growing some of our own vegtables and protecting our trees from insects in a natural way. We know that listening to an evening story read aloud by our counselors is far more compelling than any movie or video game “they” can create.  We recognize that being a part of a larger community has responsibility, so we help clean our cabin, we set the tables and we take care of one another.

We learn skills that come in handy at the oddest of moments.  We learn how to tie bowlines, chop wood, gallop on a horse.  We stand on water skis, we swim to Oak Island in the early morning, we paddle canoes – make baskets – fly from the zip line.  We sing and dance and act in front of almost 200 people, we can whip up costumes and games out of thin air.  We can live away from our parents at a young age and THRIVE.  We can return home and amaze all who love us with our strength, determination and confidence.  We have been given the gift of camp, we are self-sufficient, caring, talented leaders who will one day also give the gift of camp.

Thank you for taking the chance to send us to camp, for helping keep us out of the growing statistics of children who do not have a relationship with the natural world.  Thank you for loving us and believing in us.

All of the Camp Runoia Girls and Women since 1907



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