As a leader I have been to Camporees at least a dozen times with the girls in my Troops. I’ve watched them grow up from little girls to young women over the last five years. My own daughters feel like Golden Pond is a second home to them. It belongs to them. It is a part of them. It is a part of me.

Places hold memories. Golden Pond holds the memories of friendships created over s’mores, laughter, fires, and songs. It is so much more than a place. It is where I find myself again and again. It is fairy walks and geese on the lake. It is golden sunrises and frogs at night. It is flashlight tag and parachutes. It is friendships built on a shared memory that have become the fabric of my life.

My older daughter Melissa was a kindergartener when she first came to camp and learned to sing Boom-Chicka-Boom. Now five years later she has gotten to be an older girl leading the Daisies in song. Two years ago she sat on the dock and cheered on the middle schoolers as they swamped their canoes. Two summers from now she can have that experience herself.

Golden Pond is where she learned to cook over a fire, paddle a canoe, shoot an arrow, catch a fish and fly a flag. It is where she celebrated her eight birthday surrounded by 100 friends singing to her. Golden Pond is where she is the Gaga Ball master. Golden Pond is where she is both teacher to her younger kindergarten age sister and student for middle and high school age girls.

Last year when my youngest came to camp for the first time she stated, “this is my camp now” as we entered. Little did we know this summer, my 16th time to Golden Pond over five years, would be our final Camporee. My girls are only 6 & 9. I wonder how many more memories we could create if we were able to keep coming.

-Christine, Melissa, Kira