I did a lot of writing while I was a camper at Tripp Lake. First, it was letters to Mom and Dad. That evolved into a conscious stream of cheers and songs. My last two summers, I chronicled every moment of every day that I would never want to forget into a total of four journals. And now, as high school senior, I reciprocate a former habit from my early years by sending letters back to Tripp—telling one cousin to savor her last summer there like a fresh Maine lobster and another cousin in her first summer at camp not to blink – the years will fly by too fast. But before I get all nostalgic, I should probably introduce myself.
My name is Hannah Pasternak and I attended Tripp Lake Camp in Poland, Maine for seven summers. Before me, my mother, aunt, and cousin were Tripp Lakers in the seventies. Today, my two younger brothers and cousin are third generation campers at Camp Androscoggin, preceded by my uncle, three cousins (one of which now serves as Andro’s head counselor), and great uncle. In the next few years my cousin will be another little Tripp Laker to add to the list, as well as her twin brother who will be attending Androscoggin. So it is needless to say that I was born and bred in the Maine Camp Experience.
As a guest blogger for the Maine Camp Experience, I will be posting monthly about all sorts of odds and ends relating to camp. As I also mentioned before, I will be graduating from high school this June and in the fall will transition to my new home for the next four years—Brown University. Although I only received news about my acceptance in mid-December, I have somehow already managed to make this experience all about camp. Whenever I meet or speak to a future classmate of mine, one of the first things I ask them is, of course, where they went to camp. I have grown to realize that, unfortunately, a good handful of my diverse peers did not have the same summer experiences as I have. But this could not stop me from connecting my camp experiences to those I’ll have at college even if I tried.
I was one of those kids who ended my summers at camp a different person than when I started seven years earlier. Camp has truly shaped me into who I am today. In addition to the fact that I will have TLC sisters studying at Brown with me, the values camp instilled in me are evident in all that I will do. Next year I will make my bed every morning (or so I hope), and I will make friends with an open mind, remembering the summer I blindly switched bunks but ended up making my best friends. I will welcome the dining hall food because community service at camp taught me to appreciate what I have, and I will be patient with those that require it because after all, college, like camp, is a family.
But most importantly, I will try new things and I will be myself. Because at camp, whether I was finally getting the courage to waterski my final summer; climbing up “Jacob’s Ladder” to get a bird’s eye view of camp; or walking around in a red velour jumpsuit just because I had that much team spirit; I learned that I couldn’t take an exciting leap forward if I didn’t have the courage to jump.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.