Today I drove 4.5 hours each way to pick up our son from Crystal Lake camps, where he has been a counselor for the last nine weeks. It was very foggy on my arrival, which always makes the greens seem more bright, so I took the photos below. I particularly love the photo of our son with some fellow staff. It was so good to see him!
He had a great time. He taught five archery classes, two boating classes, and two science classes. He made home-brewed rocket fuel, made rockets, and did space shuttle simulations. For the final ceremony, he stood in a canoe as it came paddling across the lake in the dark, twirling a torch lit at both ends. He jumped an enormous drop into a waterfall fed pool while on an overnight with his campers. He saw four rattlesnakes, and was compelled to kill one with a rock so it would not terrorize the kids. During a faux boat battle on the lake, he was inspired to hook up the speakers to play Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner at top volume, which made the whole thing so much more fun, and everyone had a complete blast. I asked him what he liked best of the whole experience, and he quickly remarked: teaching.
He also said he likes how Christian Scientists “take care of their own,” and I was glad that he not only felt that was true, but also felt included in that. I spend so much of my time trying to get us to take care of more than our own, that I was glad to be reminded we are being faithful over the few things. I am grateful he acknowledges how special our extended community is, and that he is continuing to appreciate being part of it.
After we got his helter skelter unzipped duffles in the back of my car, we went into Hughesville to have lunch at Kathy’s Cafe, pictured below. What a great spot! Don’t miss it if you are ever there. Andrew had a hamburger which included a beef patty and a stack of ham topped with a bundle of bacon; he said it was delicious. I had the “tuna melt supreme” which was tuna, walnuts, water chestnuts, and cheddar, grilled on sourdough. Yum!
Last year on the drive home, our son had explained that he had decided to go to engineering school; today, he was coming to diametrically opposite conclusions. Economics and politics are looming larger for him now. He’s realized he has more people skills and leadership skills than he has given himself credit for, and is even toying with the idea of running for office someday. He likes being busy and having his hands in many things. He sees the big picture, and doesn’t want to just deal in detail. He wants to make a difference, and knows he is capable of working tirelessly, so he wants it to be for something he believes in deeply. He’s not sure engineering can strike that chord. He’s ready to go to school with an open mind and see where it leads. I was thankful all over again for the fact he is going to a place like Swarthmore, where all that is possible. This conversation on the way home highlighted for me how much he’s grown in the last year, and I’m proud of his thoughtful, intelligent nature. It was wonderful to be with him.
A big thank you to Crystal Lakes camps for your part in who he is becoming!