When you are 5 and you go on a trip to New Hampshire the world seems huge. You remember just enough to be able to say you remember. Maybe a sign or a tree or a person, but probably not a conversation in detail.
When you are 9 and you return to the place you remember it for the week away from home. A week at camp in a tent. A hike in a lightning storm and singing songs with your best friend.
When you are 14 and you show up to work at camp a crazy man with a condiment name glares and listens and teaches. You meet some people that will be the bridge to friends that you will keep for the rest of you life. You make mistakes, you learn, you have fun.
When you are 18 and you are in charge of a small camp department you answer a lot of questions. You teach a little and learn more about yourself than the subjects you are teaching. You find your strengths and your weaknesses. You hide and search. You get up early and swim. You get to know a few people better.
When you are 22 and return as a staff member of another camp you battle on the ballfield and you find that the home team is the one you are on. The people that have replaced you are different. The people who have stayed behind are stronger and have learned to delegate.
When you are 30 and return as a guest you find that the people that were campers are now in charge. The people that taught you almost everything are long gone. The few in between, John and Dan, bridge a gap between generations. You wonder if there is a way to do it all - and then you drive home realizing that the world is still a huge place and there are a lot of things to do.
A couple days ago I showed up on the doorstep of Camp Wanocksett and relived a few moments of my camp days - tonight I will be attending the Dryden Democratic Caucus where I will be nominated for a four year term on the Dryden Town Board. Everything I've learned so far prepares me for what I will do next.
(The guy floating above is now in charge)