Greetings from Namanu!
Camp is finally here!
It’s enough to make me pirouette in the top of my tree. For weeks I got up at the very crack of dawn and waited for the camp staff to show up. Toward the end of the month I was feeling pretty lonely, and I sat in Uncle Toby’s Story House, thinking of all the fun times I’ve had there. And suddenly I heard laughing and singing! The voices were as sweet as the trickles of all the creeks that run through Camp Namanu. I was so excited to meet the staff that I followed them everywhere. I’ve been eating with them, hiking with them, setting up camp with them, and even learning a few camp songs with them. I recognize many of the wonderful staff from years past, and the new ones seem pretty great too. They’re all excited, kind, and funny. The campers this summer are very lucky, getting to be at Namanu with such amazing people.
Getting to know each other
It seems like all of Namanu has come alive for the beginning of camp. The forest is a deep green, and everywhere you turn, flowers beam out at you. My deer and squirrel friends have been trying to get to know the new camp staff. The ducks, geese, and osprey have all been introducing their chicks to camp. June is so full of life, and I love walking around with everyone who comes to live here in the summer.
A surprising swim
Today, I woke up to feel the top of my tree already warm. I knew it would be a hot day, so I trotted down to the duck pond for a swim. I was chatting with the newts after my second lap when a huge crowd of people appeared out of nowhere. I looked carefully, and thought I saw campers! I leaped out of the pond, and scurried through the woods back up to my tree. That was a close one! A few times in the past I’ve almost been seen by campers, and while it’s terribly exciting, it’s also something I try to avoid. I was explaining this last week to my friend Tsuga, who lives at camp now, and he offered to give me a calendar of what’s going on. I eagerly took him up on the offer, and posted the calendar in my humble kitchen. Now, out of breath, and back at my tree, I examined it. OPEN HOUSE! Today was open house! Hardly a day to be practicing my backstroke. Today was the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Blue Wing cabins, and I had planned on attending.
I put on my best elf-suit, and practically flew over to our meeting spot in the Blue Wing unit. My elf and fairy friends were raising an excited ruckus, but we all stood silent when we saw the green ribbon, about to be cut. The president of Camp Fire’s Portland council gave a nice speech, and we all cheered. I also had the treat of seeing a good friend from a long time ago, Marjorie Belluschi, the widow of the late, great Pietro Belluschi, who designed many of our buildings at camp, among them Blue Wing Lodge. They were great friends back when Namanu was just rising from the ground, and I was so happy to see her again.
And then we were off to explore the cabins! We explored all the little nooks, slid across the new floors, and played with the fixtures. One of my elf friends, who shall remain nameless, climbed the rafters and sat up there, watching as people poured in to look at the beautiful carpentry. The cabins are perfect for our youngest campers: Stately and beautiful, yet playful and warm. I may just have to sneak down and lay my little blanket-roll in one to sleep one of these nights. It’s about time for an overnight, and it may as well be in one of the places at Namanu that means the most to me. Maybe I’ll see you there, dear camper. I’ll be the elf dangling my legs from a rafter, wishing you well. Have fun at camp this summer! I can’t wait to read your letters.