Who Says You Can’t Go Home – Summer Camp ReunionsPosted by Róisín O'Malley on March 24, 2017
In 2004 Jim and I were given the opportunity to purchase a sleepaway summer camp. We saw this as a once in a lifetime chance, so with the support of our families we took a leap of faith into a new world. Jim and I had loved our days working as summer camp counselors in nearby Poland, Maine. When we first moved to Fernwood Cove we immediately felt like we were at home. We worked to connect all aspects of Fernwood Cove to its founding philosophy and values. With this foundation, we knew that we could create a community that empowers our campers, CITs, and staff. We knew that we could have a positive impact on each person that came to 350 Island Pond Road.
Creating A Family
Each year we work to learn and grow from our experiences. The amount of growth that we have experienced since 2004 has been amazing. This all girls summer camping community has grown not only in numbers, but in its compassion, its inclusivity, and in its support of each other. It wasn’t necessarily one of our goals, but through creating a stronger community, we’ve been creating a family. Campers often relate to their camp friends as their summer sisters. Bunk Moms and Bunk Aunts and Uncles often continue to be role models and guides for their campers long after the final goodbyes each summer. Fernwood Cove serves as a common bond for campers, CITs, and staff. No matter what summer, or which session, or how long they were at camp this community we built will always be here to welcome you home.
I often compare my boarding school days with camp, as I went to an all-girls, uniform school. Recently, I had the privilege and pleasure to attend my 20th school reunion in Australia. It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen many of those women. Seeing the familiar faces of my schoolmates was so comforting. It was incredible how quickly we reconnected with each other- it felt just like when we would hang out in our common room at school! By sharing hugs and stories of days long past, it instantly felt like I was returning home.
When Fernwood Cove Alumni connect outside of camp, they share this same feeling. No matter where the reunion is held, the feeling of home is recreated. As Directors, we love hearing about various reunions that occur around the world. During reunions Alumni connect with members of the Fernwood Cove family, often with people whom they are meeting for the first time. No matter the distance, these connections help recreate the magic of camp. Camp reunions create the sense of returning home to Island Pond Road, bringing back years of memories, smiles, and laughter too.
In 2018, we will be celebrating our 20th summer of Fernwood Cove! Alumni celebrations will be occurring in a variety of locations throughout the year. We are currently planning events and are open to suggestions. If you are interested in helping to organize an event or host a hometown reunion, or just have an idea of something you would be interested in attending, please let us know. Whether it’s been 1 summer or 15 summers since your last time at camp, we look forward to welcoming you home. “Who says you cant go home”