Winter is here, snow has come and gone, and the air temperature jumps around from 30 to 55 degrees. Camp is quiet and packed up, patiently waiting for June for yet another amazing summer. If you’re like me, when things slow down there is often time to reflect on important things—some you might want to change, others you hold on to for a long time. One thing I find incredibly important is friendship, and there is no better place to make lasting, meaningful friendships than at camp.
Have you ever wondered why the friends you make at camp are so special and significant? After all, most of us are only at camp for two weeks, but the people we spend those two weeks with become some of our dearest friends. Camp allows friendships to grow in special ways because of the environment we are in. We are living in a tight-knit community, and unlike at school, we share new experiences with our cabin mates, celebrating the highs and lows, all while expanding our comfort zones. Not to mention, spending time in a tech-free environment, outside, helps us connect on a different level with our peers.
When camp ends, we all head home to different cities across different countries, making it difficult to keep in touch with camp friends. I am here to tell you: Just because you may live hundreds of miles away from each other, you don’t have to lose touch with all the amazing people you met at camp! Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay in touch with friends over the fall, winter, and spring months while you wait for summer to arrive.
- Write letters. Letters are a form of communication that isn’t used very often this day and age, but there is something about getting a piece of mail that is quite exciting. Grab a pack of stamps from the local post office, stationery, and keep your friends updated with what’s going on in your life. Mail takes longer than an Instagram message but can be a wonderful surprise when they show up. Letters are also a great keepsake to look back at years later.
- Plan a visit. Some camp friends live closer than others, so visiting can be quick and easy, but others can be harder. Planning a trip with some of your cabin mates can be an incredibly fun and exciting time. Most of the time, we only see our camp friends at camp, but having them come visit us at home and seeing where we live is a great experience.
- Skype/FaceTime. Staying connected has never been as easy as it is now with video calls. Setting up regular calls with camp friends once a month can be a wonderful way to stay in touch, and it gives all of us something to look forward to during the school year.
- Attend a homeshow. Throughout the fall and spring, we travel to different cities around the country, visiting our families and bringing our camp community together. These are amazing ways to reconnect with camp friends in your area and to bring along other friends who might not go to camp to see what it’s all about. We will show our new camp video and remember all of the special moments we had during the summer of 2018.
One of my biggest takeaways from years of forming friendships is that you have to be intentional about how you continue to grow and cultivate them. If you are missing someone from camp or thinking about a funny moment you shared from your backpack, don’t hesitate to call them up or write a letter. It can only take a moment to let someone know you are thinking about them, and it continues to make friendships stronger. All of us at the Camp Pinnacle office love staying in touch with you, too, and through all of the winter months that have found us, we know summer is coming soon, and we can’t wait to see all of our camp friends. See you in summer 2019!