Nights in Maine are very chilly, already there is a decent amount of snow on the ground and the dark settles in early. Evenings are perfect for a board game or cuddling up on the couch with a good book. Having the right blanket to snuggle up with is a crucial accessory. There are so many around to choose from, a multitude of soft and fluffy ones, the scratchy woolen one to be avoided and the most popular recent addition a cozy sherpa fleece.
My favorite is my Runoia 5 year blanket, it’s a decent fleece, medium weight and a little old these days but it carries with it the warmth of summer. Amazing that a blanket can hold the memories of years on Great Pond. The lifetime friendships, the hundreds of girls, the joys and laughter all wrapped up in Runoia blue.
Getting your 5 year blanket is a big deal for campers and staff, it represents your commitment to the place you have called your summer home, it’s an achievement, a milestone and a celebration. They are much anticipated and presented at cotillion on the last night of the season. You also get to be in the log photos for 5 years or more. You can’t purchase them and you only get one so need to take care of it reverently.
More than that achievement though it is the reminder of your summers you when you are not at camp. The blanket stays with you when you are at home in the winter or have long moved on from the shores of Great Pond. It elicits your Runoia a fond reminder of those long summer days. Maybe it gets pushed to the back of a closet for a while, or ends up in your dorm room at college. Perhaps it’s turns up in a carefully shipped package from your childhood home to you when you start your own life in a new place. Could be the dog steals it to curl up on or a younger sibling uses it for fort building. As time goes on it may get a little wash worn or frayed around the edges but it still has a warmth that only Runoia can provide. Alumnae still talk about their blankets and bring them back when they return as staff or attend a reunion.
We hope that there will be many more Runoia blankets to hand out. Celebrating 5 years at Runoia is so much more than receiving your camp blanket. We want all of our summer family to feel the warmth and love of camp the whole year through.