As I drove into The Realm today, the sun was cutting just perfectly through the trees. I quieted my radio so I could sing the Robin Hood alma mater, and could hear the sound of children playing as I made my way down the dirt road. I was home.
Soon after I arrived, buses began to appear at the gas pumps. Groups holding signs to denote their spot sprinkled the air, and campers navigated their way through the sea of green and white Robin Hood shirts to greet their summer families.
In no time, groups made their way down to the waterfront for a general swim, others were on the homerun diamond trying to “hit the trees” (a RH rite of passage), and a pack of girls – ranging in age from Scribes to Tumblers – were playing pony on the quad.
Dick formally welcomed everyone at dinner with two cherished traditions: the oldest and youngest campers of both the girls and boys camps tore down sheets of paper illustrating the number of hours it has been since we were all last together; and, he toasted “to our returning campers, welcome home! To our new campers, welcome to the greatest place on earth.”
After spending 11 summers at Robin Hood as one of the directors, I am now considered a Robin Hood veteran. When I dated DC in the 90’s and came to camp as a visitor for Family Camp (formerly called “9th Week”), who would have ever thought that I would sit here now as an authentic Robin Hooder? This past January I retired as a director, but as any alum will attest, you may come for a summer, but undeniably stay for a lifetime.
Now I have the privilege of spending a few weekends of the summer in this magical place. Today, I hugged the returning children (many of whom are now taller than me), and I welcomed our new campers to Robin Hood. Tomorrow I play, swim and probably lead an afternoon abs class 🙂
New parents – I imagine you may be missing your children and wondering if they are okay? Did you do the right thing by sending them to camp? It was a significant choice you made in sending your child to Robin Hood. Let me assure you, you didn’t just choose any camp; you chose a place that sees children return year after year. Our children come from as close as Maine and as far as Switzerland. They grow up with each other; they are one another’s life forces throughout the year. Yes, the air smells like pine, the sunsets take away your breath, but the friendships formed are like none other. And it is those relationships that are the secret sauce of this place we call “The Realm.”
With that said, sleep well as we wish you all …
Sweet dreams from The Realm.