Every year, as the weather warms and the days grow long, I’m immediately reminded of my old summer camp, Indian Acres. It’s weird. I’ve not visited Fryeburg, Maine for at least a couple of years — and the last time I was there with camp in session might have been during a reunion 4 years ago. Either way, it’s impossible not to acknowledge the impact that the experience there has had on me: if only in just the fact that I’m writing about it today.
Now that we’re in the heart of summer, I’ve found that there are lots of little things that remind me of camp. They’re really just small senses, but for an instant, I’m magically transported back.
- Smell: Every morning, at around 7:15 a.m., I’ll head over to the Sports Club to workout. Stepping out of my apartment building, still groggy, and breathing in the morning’s fresh air, I’m immediately returned to the dew-covered upper soccer field. It’s a smell that gives me flashbacks of trudging to the field office for flag raising — not running on an elliptical for an hour.
- Taste: I’m a big fan of Diet Dr. Pepper and usually have one each day. My initial sip is always a reminder of lazy afternoons spent in the Alumni Lounge, drinking Dr. P’s and catching up with friends — and, more than likely, skipping an activity period (or two, or three).
- Sight: In early June, at around 6:30 p.m., turning onto California Street was the summer’s first firefly. There was something surreal about it because, for a moment, I wasn’t coming back from a long day at the office. Instead, it was Sunday evening and we were heading down for campfire. There were shouts from an impromptu soccer match on the upper field. And a hum of conversations down by the Saco.
These are my summer senses. Some might think it’s crazy that at 25 years old, a silly sleep away camp is still so entrenched in my memories. But for some reason, I’ve got a feeling that come this time of year, I’ll always be reminded of a place that gave me so much.