For a long time, camp was the only place I ever felt like I belonged. My real self would hibernate until summer, when I could go to a place that celebrated all my enthusiasm, creativity and strangeness. At camp, I was seen and known and loved.
And part of what helped me feel that way were these two counselors I had, who have now become my great friends. They graduated from camp and into their own "real lives," but had this lingering idea: what if we had our own camp?
After eight years of imagining, handwringing, sketching and dreaming, they bought 100 acres and some stark cabins in the piney woods of East Texas. And you know what those crazy fools did? They made a summer camp.
A place of belonging. A place for girls to make their art, tell their story, find their voice. If I could have conjured the ideal place for my enthusiastic, creative and strange daughter — and my own eight-year-old self — it would be Lantern Creek. She's there now, just wrapping up the evening's closing circle, watching the sun set on a dream come true.
Oh, and that's the two of them — Piper and Pixie (a.k.a. Sunni and Liz) — in the photo above. Just another day at the office.