A place I call home


It is always a great weekend when you get to visit camp. This past weekend the team traveled up to the north woods of Wisconsin to start getting camp physically ready for everyone to start coming up in less than a month. One of my very close friends that I grew up with at camp asked if he could help set things up and spend the weekend with the CIL team. I was overjoyed that he was going to come up and that we would get to spend some time together sharing many memories of a place that we both identify as our home.

During our four hour drive up to camp we talked about life, camp, and our old memories. While we are still close, we have not spent that much time together in quite a while and it always shocks me how easy it is to pick up where we left off – no matter how much time has gone by. The drive flew by and before we knew it we were up at camp. We pulled in, parked the car, and as we got out we both took a deep breath; we knew we were home. Any time I walk into camp I take a short walk around to just see how camp is looking. With a quick tour around camp, we shared memories of things that had happened in areas of camp, people that we shared those experiences with, came up with our list of tasks for the weekend and got to work.

The task of getting camp set up is not one that is new to me. I spent many of my years growing up visiting camp with my dad in the off season making sure that camp would be ready for the season to come. As time has progressed it has become a task that I look forward to every year. It is that marking moment that lets me know camp is just around the corner. It was in this year’s setup that I saw myself thinking more and more about what each place in camp has meant to me and what its role in the camp history has played. It finally clicked to me why my dad loves to talk so much about the history of the people and places. With all of the inherent physical and programmatic changes that come along with being at a camp for so many years, you share what those people and places meant as no two people’s experiences at Camp Interlaken are the same.

While it was a very short visit, I was able to enjoy camp and share it with someone who I have not been back at camp with in several years. We worked long days, but also made sure to find a couple moments to relax, kick back, and take in the beautiful surroundings.  I am glad that I get to be part of this place that has had such great impact on so many people.

If you have a memory that you would like to share or if you are looking for a way to visit/get involved please feel free to email it to me (jwagan@jccmilwaukee.org).