Midweek…for those of us stuck in Camp it’s the time when we catch our breath. It’s the space between the organized chaos of Sunday/Monday mornings when troops and staff alike are busy making last-minute preparations for treks, and Friday when we welcome troops back to camp and enjoying the in-camp programming. This space between is used to work on in-camp projects, prep for units coming the following week, and to recharge the batteries a little bit.
Amongst the quiet of this past Monday afternoon, we were moving some of the aluminum canoes around on the canoe racks when one of the original Grumman stickers fell off the bow of one of our canoes, its adhesive giving away after 50 plus years and coming to a rest right next to my Chaco-adorned feet. The aluminum canoes are the workhorse of our canoe fleet, having been purchased back in the 1960’s and still behaving as if they were brand new. This seemingly innocent occurrence of the sticker falling off the canoe got me to thinking. That sticker and the canoe it was on have seen countless canoe trips, certainly thousands of Scouts. The sticker and it’s canoe have seen all levels of paddling expertise, undoubtedly some flips, many serene sunsets, and countless scenes of Scouts spending a magical time in the woods and waters of the Adirondacks. If only we could see our camp’s history through this sticker’s lens.
In a large part not much has changed here at Floodwood in the 50+ years that we’ve been in existence. It’s the same circus but different clowns year after year, being pulled to the same kind of experience that we all crave. For me I come back to recreate the experiences I had as a camper many moon ago, to recreate that for the next generation of Scouters. In order to continue the Floodwood magic, and because of our small size and budget, as staff members we wear many hats at Floodwood. The same staff member rows a rowboat during swim tests, flips burgers on the grill during our Sunday evening barbecue, leads treks as a voyager all week, mops the shower house floor on Saturday morning after the troops leave, helps put food orders to get together late in the night Sunday morning, and wakes up during the wee hours on Monday morning to help repair the warm send-off breakfast. It’s a labor of love, and it’s certainly not done for the money. Rather it’s done for the camaraderie, the experience of spending yet another summer in the Adirondack woods with a great group of coworkers, to catch a glimpse of the little moments of magic out on trek that become lodged in campers hearts, all while knowing we’re infusing the same profoundly genuine and positive experience in today’s Scouts.
The stickers on our canoes may be giving way but not our spirit nor our drive to keep Floodwood going for a long time to come! Thanks for being along for the ride and contributing the way you do!