What I learned at camp

1 Oct

Misty or not, the Adirondack colors were more than spectacular.

So here’s what I learned at camp this weekend:  Asses like applesauce.

No, no, no — we’re talking about donkeys.  Apparently, according to my new friend Jen, the donkeys that live in the general vicinity of Las Vegas like eating applesauce out of single-serve containers. Through a car window.

As you can imagine, there’s a whole lot more to the story than that, but I won’t get into that here. Suffice it to say that was just one of dozens of stories I heard at Camp Gorham last weekend, most of which made me laugh so hard my belly hurt.

The occasion was YMCA Camp Gorham’s Women’s Adventure Weekend, a women-only, action-packed, stress-free weekend where participants could climb a wall, hike a mountain, shoot some arrows, ride a mountain bike, or just sit back in an Adirondack chair overlooking the lake and read a book.

There were about 60 women there, most of whom were from Rochester, several from Webster itself. So I saw a few ladies there I already knew. But the real fun was meeting so many new people and making so many new friends. It’s amazing how quickly strangers can become friends when you bunk with them for three days and hear them cheering you on as you hold on for dear life to the top of a 25-foot telephone pole.

The women of Birch Cabin, and my new friends.

And yes, I did finally get up on top of that pole. And I climbed the climbing wall and rode my first zip line. I kayaked on a lake that was so calm its surface reflected the mountains like a mirror. I went mountain biking and sang goofy songs around a campfire. And in the evenings, I relaxed in front of wood stove in a cabin filled with new friends and laughed till my belly hurt.

It was darn close to being the best weekend ever.

Oh, and aside from that fascinating fact about donkeys, camp also taught me that:

* It IS possible to survive without TV, computer or cell phone for an entire weekend.
* Sleeping in the top bunk is still fun, even as an adult.
* The air smells better in the Adirondacks.
* No matter how much it rains, the autumn Adirondacks colors are awe-inspiring.
* Being able to change into dry socks and shoes is one of life’s simple pleasures.
* It’s so quiet in the woods up there that you can actually hear the autumn leaves as they fall through the trees.
* When you put … another beverage … in a Styrofoam coffee cup with a coffee cup lid on it, it looks just like coffee.
* In Gaga, double-touch isn’t the same as two-hand touch.
* It’s possible to knock an archery target over forward.
* Adirondack chipmunks have some serious attitude.


Photographic evidence that I did stand on top of the pole. Then I jumped straight out to try to grab that trapeze. I was unsuccessful.

I also learned that in Eagle Bay, NY, throwing your sneakers over the power lines counts as entertainment.


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