Camp life, continued

Notes from the North Woods

Ideally, the view from the front door of a camp, should always overlook a lake, pond or stream.

Ideally, the view from the front door of a camp, should always overlook a lake, pond or stream. Photo by Joe Hackett.

Last week’s column about the tradition of camp life, has sparked a deluge of responses. It appears Adirondackers are very proud of their camps, which have provided many with a connection to the land, for generations. It is also obvious that camp life continues to be a vital component of our regional identity, heritage and culture.

Undoubtedly, the charm of a camp is proportional to the simple, simplicity of it all. It involves a return to the basics, and the opportunity to escape from the intrusions and demands imposed by the social and technological constraints of modern, everyday life.

Camp life moves at a slower pace, and it occurs in a place where you can let your hair down, and be yourself. It is a place where your stomach often aches from the combination of too much food, and too much laughter. It is where the air is always fresher, the water is cleaner and life is sweeter. It is a place to uncover new adventures, and to relive old traditions. It is where we go to recover, to be free and to become absorbed in a quieter, deeper, and older way of life.

Some claim that camp is not even a place, and it simply cannot be considered a physical location. Although we arrived at camp by various means of transportation, we only fully arrive by achieving the proper state of mind!

Camp is defined by a certain primitive nature and the spirit of simplicity. A camp was never intended to have electricity, a telephone, or a satellite dish located along the lakeshore. The outside world should not be allowed to violate the sanctuary of camp. If it does, it’s no longer a camp; it’s just a second home.

Even though we go to camp in order to escape the rules and routines of society, many camps have their own distinct set of rules, or an established code of conduct.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net

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