Those who know me well know that I was a middle school teacher for the first 15 years of my post-college life. Before that I’d spent many amazing summers working at a camp in the North Woods of Minnesota. When I first arrived at this 75-year-old camp on the shores of Lake Pokegama in the summer of 1986 it was as if I had discovered the place I was looking for all my life but did not know it.
As someone who is more comfortable sporting clothes from Eddie Bauer and L.L Bean than Lily Pulitzer or Ralph Lauren, I’d suddenly found a place where a rustic, simple life was encouraged every minute of the day. It was a place where kids of all ages were expected to try new things nearly every day. It’s no wonder sending my own boys to the camp became a priority when they were old enough to head north.
A seed had been planted and when I reluctantly left my camp days behind I vowed to remember some of the lessons I’d learned during those Minnesota summers:
• It’s easier to survive a summer without computer and TV screens than you might think.
• You’re never too old for a little quiet time on your bunk after lunch.
• Everything you need to get by for a summer can fit into a well-made trunk.
• Watching the sun set over a lake while listening to the call of a loon is an outstanding way to end the day.
July has arrived and that means our Kansas City summer is flying by once again. What do you have on the calendar for this week or this month to make a summer fun memory with someone you love? You never know. That adventure might plant a seed that sticks with them for a lifetime.
Enjoy the season and I’ll see you around town.