A couple days ago, I headed south to our old Girl Scout camp for a staff alumni event. We were able to walk (or drive) around the camp, meet up with old friends, and join the campfire. We were even invited to sing or perform – which is a whole other story, believe me!
It was different, for sure. I mean, mostly the camp itself looked the same:
The office, Guest House, Staff House – including the exact same furniture from at least 25 years ago and, I understand, even the linoleum! The rec porch had more books than bicycles, and a montage of staff pictures from “back when” were on display. Most of the roads are now paved, almost into each unit, and parking has sure expanded – the rec porch meadow is almost all a parking lot, although at least it’s gravel and not pavement.
Wohl looked the same, from the outside, and Wohl Meadow was unchanged – still had the campfire in about the same spot, although they built up a mound of dirt for it. And we still had to sing “Rise Up, O Flame” a few times before the fire actually got going!
And no more latrines…now they have “ETs”, complete with decks (huh?) and storm shelters (okay, now THAT part maybe isn’t a bad idea except, of course, kind of weird?).
We were told that Conestoga was “condemned” but they do still use it for the occasional overnight; it’s pretty overgrown, and where the firepit used to be is now more parking. Sheesh, whatever happened to hauling all your gear in by actually walking?
And I guess that’s the point of this post.
By far the worst thing we all discovered this week was the apparently AWOL camp song: “Cedar Trees.”
Now, I personally know that “Cedar Trees” was the camp song since 1972; I’m sure some readers can attest that it goes back further, although in 1927 when Cedarledge opened they had a different one. But this week, when we were ready for the campfire closing song, they announced that we’d sing “Green Trees.” Okay, cedar trees ARE green, but…what about “Cedar Trees?” The camp isn’t called “Greenledge,” is it?!
Well, anyway, they let us sing “Cedar Trees” after the rest of the closing, all of us old folks, and they DID do Taps with the Indian signs. Whew! And they got it right, too.
And, in addition, the unit songs are missing. Someone said that she thought those were written down and lying around “somewhere”, but she wasn’t sure. I can understand maybe the kids not knowing them because, after all, this was just a few days into the session, but didn’t we learn our unit songs right away and practice them for the campfire?
That’s okay. Some of us provided an impromptu concert of all the unit songs right after the campfire…a few people stopped and stared, probably because we were so awesome and all, right? Yeah, right!