In our lives when you spend time at a place long enough, you realize each place has its own distinct rhythm. Pine Tree Camp has always had a rhythm that you would never call normal. But it’s okay, normal is boring. Camp is a myriad of adjectives, but it’s never boring.
Coming to camp for over thirty years, the rhythms have changed dramatically, just as my life has. As a child, the early morning rhythms were usually hearing the campers who had Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy, who needed to be turned every two hours or less to prevent pain and bedsores.
Then, as I grew older and most, if not all those campers passed on, the rhythms would focus on college age experiences. The bell signifying the progress of a day at camp was complimented by the low hum of busses taking campers on trips around the state, usually to a restaurant – maybe a movie. Wherever it was, physical access was first priority.
So the rhythms shifted again and camp was a place to focus on lifelong friendships, to do activities one would maybe not have access to, or maybe not have access to as easily at camp.
The rhythms changed in other ways. As camp staff returned, you would see their kids grow to become staff members themselves, complimenting their experiences at camp with college degrees, often serving the same population of disabled people as teachers or therapists. With the rhythms of North Pond and lessons learned at Pine Tree Camp, impressed upon the soul for life.