FDL 2013, a reflection in 9 parts harmony*
Historically, I am not a signer of walls, not just at FDL but also at any of the camps where I’ve worked. I’m not completely sure why; although, I do have a very vivid memory of being chastised by a nun from my Kindergarten when she caught me writing on my desk. Perhaps there is some long held aversion to repeating that scene; it was quite terrifying after all.
Regardless, it’s a tradition that I think speaks to how deeply our years at camp can come to affect us. They leave a mark so permanent and lasting that we feel complied to do the same. Show me a cabin whose walls are decorated with names, song lyrics and inside jokes penned in Sharpie (or paint or shoe polish)and it isn’t Shining references that come to mind but a sense of how loved this place has been.
Each new name is another life that will be shaped and altered by the time that was spent here. It’s why we respond so strongly when renovations become necessary. Yes, new showers and program space will always be needed but change in any manner means that names will be lost. We try to fight it but it’s inevitable. It’s upsetting because it feels as though our time is being erased, that the mark that we left on camp is somehow less than the ones to come but then again, it’s a two-way street. Names fade away as boards get replaced but my experience has always been that the effect that camp leaves on us is far more difficult to get rid of. It cannot be replaced with new walls or a fresh coat of paint because it becomes a part of who we are.
So perhaps, I do not tend to be a signer of walls because I could not leave a mark big enough to match the one all my years at camp have left on me. Or it could just be the aftershock of being a terribly frightened 5 year old that day in Kindergarten . . .
– Lady Sarena
* this will be a running thread throughout the year. Think of it as an attempt at sharing everything that this summer encompassed.