Hello extended CGL family,
After what has been a magnificent summer, I am sad to say that this is my final CGL blog of 2022. As teachers in Florida, our school year starts August 2nd, so Jesse and I unfortunately leave a few weeks before the end of camp to make it back home just in time for work to begin.
Jesse always warned me how much this part sucks – missing Color War, Firefly, and the closure that comes with everyone saying goodbye at the same time. We knew this was coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier to miss out on what will be some pretty epic memories of summer 2022.
Camp has been an incredible experience. Coming into it, I genuinely wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t love it the way Jesse hoped I would.
Now that we’ve gotten to know each other a bit, I can be a bit more honest with you.
In our house, we have something called a “No thank you bite.” While primarily pertaining to food, the idea is the same across the board; you can’t say you don’t like something until you have tried it.
When Jesse and I first got engaged, I remember thinking, How do I tell him I’m not okay with our kids going to camp? The day the conversation came up, his response was clear: You can’t say you don’t want to send our kids to camp until you’ve experienced it for yourself.
I needed to actually go to camp to have my “No thank you bite.” I knew that once I truly experienced it, I would be able to definitively say, “Our kids won’t be camp kids.” Once I experienced camp, I had stake in the conversation. I had a valid opinion.
Well, this has pretty obviously backfired.
I’ve had my “No thank you bite” of camp, and now I can’t wait for our future kids to be campers. I can’t wait for them to gain independence, confidence, and self-awareness. I can’t wait for them to make lifelong friends, take risks, and step outside of their own comfort zones. I can’t wait for the stories they will tell me about their bunkmates, their daily activities, and their favorite memories. And I can’t wait to experience it all alongside them.
I had a distinctly surreal and wonderful moment today, looking at the youngest Inter campers, when I realized that one day, they may be my future children’s counselors, guiding them through their summer, caring for them, teaching them. Giving them gentle pep talks on the cabin steps when they are homesick. Challenging and encouraging them when they doubt themselves. Being a mentor. A friend.
I look forward to that day with a new excitement I never anticipated before coming to Camp Green Lane.
Thank you, CGL families, for showing me firsthand that the decision to send your babies to camp, regardless of their age, is so much more than a bittersweet separation. It’s an incredible opportunity for these kids to grow, to learn, to play. To be authentically who they are. To be a part of something so culturally unique. To make each other better people. It has been a true privilege to be a part of your children’s summer.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your summer, too, and trusting me to share camp with you through the eyes of a total beginner. It has been an honor, and you have all been so kind and welcoming.
And now, I am just like all of you, scrolling through the daily photos, living for the Instagram live streams, pining to be between the arches as Color War descends. Longing for the stories. Wishing we were back in our tiny, cozy cabin, as present as we were on the first day of camp.
I hope the summer of 2023 will find Team Cohen back at Camp Green Lane. A lot can happen in a year. But I will never forget the summer of 2022, my very first summer at camp.
22 – ??
Please stay tuned as Uncle Evan will be taking over the writing of the blogs for the remainder of the summer.