Each winter, campers who attended a spring or fall camp are invited back to Camp HOPE to participate in a reunion weekend. Reunion camps always feel like holidays to me; all our friends and families come back together, share deep conversations, laugh, do fun activities, eat good food, share old memories and make new ones, too.
The past few weeks, I have been excited, making plans and preparing for everyone’s return. I’ve visited with several families, sent invitations in the mail, developed the weekend schedule of activities, and made lodging arrangements for our campers and staff. Our dear Camp HOPE kitchen staff carefully selected which meals to prepare, decided on how many different flavors of cookies to bake and how much hot chocolate to order. The arts and crafts leaders are delicately selecting unique stones, gems and tiles for our campers’ projects and making sure there are more than enough of everything to go around. The accommodations are set and we’re ready to welcome everyone “home” for the “holiday” weekend.
Since our loved ones died, some of our own, personal holidays and traditions have changed in big ways. Certain days may bring an array of mixed emotions and won’t feel quite like celebrations for a given amount of time. At Camp HOPE, we recognize this. We understand December was very different than it had been in past years and as the clock hit midnight and our lives moved forward into 2023, when others’ lives were left behind in 2022…2021…, the celebration didn’t have the same spark.
At Camp HOPE, we see you. We are you. Reunion camp comes with no expectations; no need to enter the door with huge smiles, gifts, exciting news, etc- just come as you are. The important thing is you’re here among camp family.
From our camp nurse, musicians, cabin leaders, counselors, activity leaders, cooks, waterfront guides, directors, and board members, we are wishing everyone a very healthy and peaceful new year and looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Camp HOPE very soon.