So bye, bye you camper guys…

This is going to be hard… summarizing the summer in one post, but here’s the best I can do.

Amazing…

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my time. Of course, the beginning of the summer was rough, but it always is. After week three rolled around, things looked as if they weren’t going to get any better. Around that time, things started to look better. The HA staff started becoming one cohesive unit, the camp staff as a whole was finding the end of its storming (earlier than usual, I might add). Things started falling into place to make this summer THE best on record for me.

First of all, a few thank yous…

The 2004 RSR Staff: You guys all have a special place in my heart. That camp and the lives of over 3000 scouts have been changed by you all. And probably what is more, the lives of 140+ staffers have been impacted by everyone. I can honestly embrace each and every one of you as a friend and most as brothers. Thank you for making this summer the most memorable I’ve ever had.

Mojo, Will, Drew, Brent, Jimi, Chris and Luke: You all are brothers to me. I can’t express in words how privileged I feel to have worked with you guys this summer. I can’t thank you all enough. I hope to see you all again sometime soon, very soon. It makes me sad that so few of us are returning for next summer.

The Room Six Guys: If the HA staff are my brothers, you guys are my closest family. You guys mean so much to me. It’s sad that each year, there is the possibility that one or more of us will not be returning but you guys are one of the largest reasons that I keep coming back.

Jess: Thank you for being there when I needed a hug, someone to talk to. Your smile made my days so much better. You will always be a little sister to me. I’ll be there for you as long as you’re there for me.

The Scouts: The reason we are all at camp, and to those of you who impacted my life in immeasurable ways, thank you. There are too many of you to name here. My biggest thank you goes out to you all. My heart is not big enough to thank you all.

Leaving camp today was very depressing. I rolled back in around 5:00 to grab the rest of my things and leave. I saw Homer and Walter packing stuff up and thought “Great, I’ll be able to see everyone that made my summer awesome, one last time,” but after a short walk through the cabins, I was reminded that everyone had already gone home.

I loaded my boxes into my truck, took down my computer desk, took apart my computer, and put it all into its place for the ride across town. When I was finishing my packing, Craig and Matt both approached me and we said our goodbyes.

And then they drove off…

Leaving me alone to finish my packing. The camp was so empty that I could hear the clicking of my ratchet tie downs echoing off the buildings and trees… The familiar noises of scouts playing games, telling stories, chasing staffers no longer emanated from the ridges.

It was a sobering reminder that the summer was over.

As I climbed into my truck, memories of the best summer ever started flooding back into my mind. Every scout, staffer, friend, brother. Every night spent chillin somewhere in camp, singing songs, cracking jokes. The HA staff of 2004. Days spent watching the scouts I knew three years ago growing up right in front of my eyes. Tent Crews. Mornings spent playing games in the dew filled fields at COPE, afternoons climbing at the tower watching scouts learn to conquer their fears, evenings climbing at the tower with the HA staff of 2004. Sunsets at fossil beach, the morning fog that just hangs at the tops of the trees, the smell of burning red elm as you walk past campsites. Rope swings, caving, water skiing. MOTHER BEARS! Scott Sharp’s night out on the town, Chicago and the Girl Scout sign.

Those were truly the days of my life.

And as I started driving down that gravel road, my eyes began to uncontrollably fill up with tears. Passing through those gates one last time with the melodies of the Ransburg Song running through my head, the song I couldn’t sing at the banquet for fear of breaking down in tears, was like saying goodbye to my home, the place where my heart is.

It’s not the leaving that makes me sad, it’s knowing that two of the best friends I’ve ever had will not be back next summer, the uncertainty of my own return and leaving behind the memories that were formed this summer that makes me sad…

On the banks of Lake Monroe,
High above the trees,
Flies the flag of dear Camp Ransburg,
Proudly in the breeze.

As we gather in the twilight,
Scouting friends so true,
Building in our hearts fond memories,
Camp Ransburg of you.

Never before did the words of that song carry such a meaning for me…

that is all for now

8 thoughts on “So bye, bye you camper guys…

  1. hey all. i just wanted to add that the decision not to come back was extremely hard. i miss all of you guys the times that i was there was extremely fun, but there were times where i did not feel i belonged. i am also uncertain as to whether or not i will come back next year. if i dont come back then i will hopefully be up at northern tier.i really miss hanging out. bye jon

  2. Thank for the greatest summer of my life. I can’t wait for the next one i have missed everybody so much. hope to cya soon. later

  3. Yes, yes it does Jimi. About mid summer, Craig asked me to set him up with a blog. I don’t think he’s used it yet, but since he’s entering the professoriate, I have the feeling that he’ll be using it pretty soon.

  4. Well I miss everybody. It is weird to be here at camp but not really be at camp with the campers and staff. I miss everybody, oh wow. Who would have thought this year would have been one of my best years yet?

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