|Another Wekeela summer, and our centennial season, is in the books and the shores of Little Bear Pond are quiet and still. I take in the stillness to reflect on my gratitude to be the Director of such a wonderful place that continues to enrich the lives of children and staff. I am eternally grateful for the hard work and dedication of our staff this season. I am thankful, more than ever, to Lori for being my rock and partner the past twenty-six summers at Wekeela, not to mention the 31 years (this October) of being my wife and the most incredible mother to our three sons and four hundred plus kids all summer long.
When I return to the beautiful state of Maine at the end of May, one of the first things I do is look up at the night sky. As I gaze upon the trillions of stars, I am always filled with amazement and wonder. I do the same when all the staff & campers are gone. It confirms my belief that children need to have time to wonder, to have a broadened sense of what is possible, get a renewed sense of just how little we know. These past three summers children really needed summer camp more than ever. Sleepaway camps are often the first time that kids are given parent-free space to grow, where they can learn everything from water skiing to cooking skills, to painting and tennis, outdoor survival tips, as well as the words to classic rock and roll music and so much more. We think our camp opens our campers’ eyes and makes them excited about the world. For many children, sleepaway camp is the first step towards a life where travel feels like second nature.
We think a summer at Wekeela gives them the confidence and wanderlust that helps when they’re picking a college or deciding what to do next in life. Now that your child is home, we hope their sleepaway camp experience at Wekeela has made them more worldly. Our goals were for our campers to gain confidence, independence, and resilience among other important life skills. After all, at Wekeela, rather than striving to fit in, our campers have the courage to be exactly who they are. And we love them!!
Although Camp Wekeela is empty, wonder is all around us. The eternal night sky still shines bright with shooting stars and meteor showers. The sun rises and the lake is remarkably beautiful. Now that our campers have gone home, they must continue to wonder and discover how much more there can be. They should never stop wondering. The August sky is a reminder of how easy that is. It’s not only beautiful, but it also challenges us to ponder, to dream, to think bolder about it all. So, keep those campfires burning-Wekeela 2023, (the next 100) starts the 24th of June. Until then, have a safe, fun, and healthy rest of the summer and a great and meaningful new school year!
Thank you again for another special summer!