After several other summer camp experiences, which were disappointing at best, my Dad agreed to order the ACA pamphlet listing all the camps around. We set out on a mission to find me a FUN, co-ed camp with a horseback riding program that would satisfy my horse-crazy teenage self. After looking through the brochure, Coppercreek stood out.
So that summer my 14-year old self embarked on what can only be described as a life-changing experience. The instant I got to camp, I felt I had come home to the place I longed for but never knew. The staff were fun and creative, I made 2 camp BFFs right away (Thanks Liz and Mia!), and the riding program had me riding hours every single day. I was in heaven!
How surprised my parents must have been when they got the call early in week 2, asking if I could please stay another week. After that, Coppercreek Camp became my summer routine. I was a camper, teen counselor, relief counselor, assistant riding instructor, riding instructor, and then art teacher over the many years I was blessed to be at camp.
For myself, like many other campers, this place and these people helped me to learn who I really was as a person. Growing up in an alcoholic and tumultuous home and having had early childhood traumas then going through my parent’s divorce, you can imagine that I was a confused mess. Camp grounded me. It gave me hope. It got me through each year.
When I think about camp, it’s difficult to say if the people or place meant more to me. It was the combination that gave me all the good feels. Papa John was the stern yet supportive father figure I wished I always had. Lornie was a mischievous funster and we had a grand time. Karly and Jean Ann were the counselors I most looked up to for their individuality and spunk.
Our annual trip to camp reunion has become such a beloved event each year. Blessings to Sutter, Taylor, Becky, Craig, and Lornie for letting us continue to play. Just as summers at camp were our anchors, now reunion has become the high point of our year!
As a camp family we stick together through the peaks and valleys of life. I could not ask for a better family I chose for myself.
Speaking of family… I am so thankful that my son was brought into the fold of the camp family. It warms my heart to think that his confidence and peace at being an individual is, in part, thanks to camp. There’s nothing quite like being oneself as a child away from your family of origin to get your feet under you. He has been able to know the wonders of this little slice of heaven on earth and that makes me smile.
It would be impossible to impress how much this camp means to me and the people I love, even 37 years after I first attended.