Two weekends ago I travelled to the Harz Mountains in central Germany to visit two dear old friends of mine, Renske and Martin. We all met in California in 1991 at Camp Stevens where we were on staff during a truly magical summer that has kept us connected on and off ever since. The last time I had seen them was in 2000 when they came to visit me in Berlin. Now, they have their own families and are very settled into their lives in Holland and Austria, but somehow it also felt like time had stood still. It was just like always hanging out with them, goofing around and laughing a lot.
Renske and her husband have a house in St. Andreasberg in the Harz, so we all convened there for our mini-reunion. It was a beautiful, warm weekend and we went hiking and swimming and ate long meals outside in the garden. Coincidentally, the directors of Camp Stevens are retiring in September and are holding their own big, goodbye party -which none of us is able to attend. But we spent plenty of time talking about camp, reminiscing as well as reflecting on how it has shaped us throughout our lives. It was also fantastic to meet Renske and Martin’s families, who I instantly felt so relaxed with and loved. There was definitely a little bit of camp spirit in the air as we all bonded in the beautiful mountain air, the late summer sun casting a glow on the mountains that reminded us of California and of a time that we all keep close to our hearts. Saying goodbye was almost as sad as ending a session at camp!