I was a Girl Scout in Hemlock Council before there was a Golden Pond. My camps are gone. Places named Oakwood and Lycogis and Ioka and Barree. I know those names because I have the patches on the back of my sash. I have memories of adventures with my friends at each and every one of those places but the places are gone. Places carry importance. Places give us tangible reminders of our past, a way to tie our memories into the memories of others. Place matters.
Golden Pond is my new camp because it is my daughter’s camp. I hate that she might lose her camp the way I lost mine. My daughter and I made our first trek to Golden Pond when she was a Kindergarten Daisy. We’ve made countless visits in the years since. Day programs and weekends, camporees and troop camps. I watched her grow from a little girl to a lovely young woman. I’ve watched as camp provided her with opportunities for leadership and friendship. She feels that losing her camp would be losing a part of her childhood.
She’s not the only one who has benefited from time at Golden Pond. I have too. I’ve made friends with a group of women (and some men) who share my values, who challenge me to be better, who make me laugh.
Without the place, will we be able to provide our girls with the same kinds of opportunities? Maybe, I don’t know for sure. I know we’ll try. But the place won’t be the same. There won’t be the same feeling of homecoming as you drive past the camp sign and onto the property. There won’t be the same welcoming glow of Legacy Lodge when you turn from the campfire and glance up the hill. Unit II, Serendipity, Palmer, the lake, the archery field, the ga-ga pit…those are our memories and Golden Pond is our place.