Summer brings to mind my dad sharing his fond memories about when he was a kid with his three brothers at Camp Gregory in Gray, Maine during the 1930’s. Camp stories were always a topic of conversation when my grandmother, uncles and other extended family would get together. Dad obviously loved his experiences at camp because they would be a source of so many reminiscences for him, – even to this day!
My sister and I would listen to his camp stories, which were often quite humorous. He would tell us about when he was in the “Mosquito Fleet” which was the youngest age group at Camp Gregory. First thing in the morning all campers had to take a chilly bath in Crystal Lake. My grandmother would pack Ivory soap for them to use because it would float rather than sink to the bottom of the cold camp lake!
Every summer the resident “Old Town” Indians of the Penobscot tribe would hold an evening powwow at camp around a large bonfire. Dad marveled at how the Indians could dance on the prickly dried pine needles that littered the Maine woods in their bare feet without feeling apparent discomfort and remembered how the heat of the bonfire kept everyone warm on the otherwise cool Maine summer evenings. He would also tell us about how they would hear “scary” camp stories about the fictitious “Three Fingered Willie” who would scare wayward campers after sundown. And how my dad would then be too scared to walk alone in the dark to use the camp latrines in the middle of the night!
One day my dad was telling his camp stories to a new neighbor that moved in behind us in New Jersey. The neighbor showed us an old panoramic camp photo taken in the 30’s and — lo and behold – there was my dad and his brothers as kids in the picture, with the new neighbor, who was a bit older, as a camp counselor! Talk about a coincidence!
I was thinking how amazing that something as simple as a fond childhood reminiscence could lead to a connection of shared experiences between people in later life. At Springvale Terrace we have many equally amazing examples of this because many residents have shared experiences with friends that they have known earlier in their lives and have reconnected with here in our residence.
We are always looking for new friends and connections. If you have friends that would benefit from connecting and sharing experiences with those in our community, please let me know. I will be happy to invite them to join us in our shared experiences here.
Mark Sargent is the Marketing Director at Seabury at Springvale Terrace. Springvale Terrace offers independent and assisted living opportunities for seniors. The community is just blocks away from downtown Silver Spring. If you would like to visit Springvale, contact Mark at (301) 587-0190.