A Note from Mickey Black:
I love to read. This summer I look forward to hosting the second season of “Mickey’s Book Club” for Middle school age campers. Stay tuned for the announcement of our first book for discussion!
One of my favorite authors for older campers and parents is John McPhee. He is an award-winning non-fiction writer who is curious about everything. There is no one better at explaining how things works. And the range of his subject matter is limitless. He explains everything from fly –fishing in the Poconos, to building a bark canoe, to the origins of prehistoric oysters.
Last night as I was reading his latest collection of essays “The Patch,” I came across this passage that I wanted to share. He describes lecturing at an elite Northeastern college, when the first question raised by someone in the audience is “Of all the educational institutions you went to when you were younger, which one had the greatest influence on the work you do now?”
This is what he said.
“The question stopped me for a moment…Across my mind flashed the names of a public-school system K though 12, a New England private school (13), and two universities-one in the United States, one abroad -and in a split second I blurted out. ‘The children’s camp I went to when I was six years old’… The response drew general laughter, but, funny or not, it was the simple truth.”
McPhee spent his summers at Camp Keewaydin , an all boys, primarily canoeing camp in Vermont, but his observation about the profound and lifelong impact of camp on one’s intellect, curiosity and creativity is true of any good camp, like Pine Forest.
Camp teaches campers to be aware of all of the things and adventures around them and to find out more. It gives every camper a chance to explore whatever peeks their curiosity at their own pace. And in today’s pre-programmed world, that is rare and special, indeed. With enthusiastic staff around them to guide them forward, there is no limit to what they will discover.