As a wrap up to our 93rd summer at Camp Namanu, we asked Walrus, Director of Namanu Facilities and Programs, to share some of his thoughts on this past summer – his 4th summer, but 12 years later! It will all make sense…
In December of last year I returned to Camp Namanu for the first time in over a decade to interview for a job I had already held. As many of you may know, I was the Director of Namanu from 2002-2004. The experience of returning to Camp Fire and Camp Namanu has been both comfortable and surreal.
Some of my favorite things about Namanu have remained constant. As I toured the site I was happy to see that many of the “classic” Namanu lodges were still in use, and awaiting campers. I was delighted to see that the health of the Namanu forest was good, and, if the Wo-He-Lo trees are any indication, growing strong.
Many things look very different from the last time I was at camp, as well. A shower house we had once wanted to stand next to the pool was exactly where I’d imagined it would be! And four Blue Wing cabins that Tony, Brian, and I had once staked out were shining on the hillside behind Blue Wing Lodge!
And what were those crazy walled pits in the meadow? (In case you don’t know, either, they are for playing Ga-Ga Ball. A favorite of staff and campers, alike.)
But camp is for kids, and soon it was time to open registration and begin to fill camp with Camp Fire Kids! It was exciting to see that so many of our Namanu campers are regulars who come for the beauty, friendship, and traditions that have remained constant over the years.
Soon, as Sound, Vega, and I began to prepare for the summer, I slowly recalled the Namanu things I had once known: fairies and elves, trails and overnight spots, games, history and traditions, sights, sounds, and scents.
Oh, and songs. I think I have forgotten more songs than most people will ever know! At the moment I’m a two-trick pony. If I’m not singing “Peanut Butter and Jelly,” then it must be “Tomaten Sala.”
So, what is it like to come home to Namanu 12 years later? It’s fun! It’s Camp Namanu! What else could it be?
See you by the Sandy!
Director of Namanu Programs & Facilities