A few Sundays ago we held a house party in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Quite a few of our campers come from this community, first because they knew Jim and Peg (former Brooklynites), and later on from word of mouth from other campers. Of course I had a great time at the house party, meeting new families and seeing campers, but the most amazing thing about the weekend was discovering those connections that are made at camp between people who unknowingly live only blocks apart.
I never realized that Sue and Liz (aka Maisy and Rufus’ moms) live in the same building as Laura and Tony and their kids, Bella and Paulie. Laura and Tony kindly hosted the house party for us and when I mentioned contacting Sue and Liz they said, “Oh don’t bother, they live here!” While they did know one another ahead of time, they got to camp via different routes. Imagine showing up at this paradise in Vermont and running into your neighbors from your building. Now Maura also lives there. We could practically annex 75 Prospect Park SW as Camp Common Ground South.
Miriam and Marc live nearby and they had already been coordinating weeks of camp with Tony and Laura. They too met at camp and have continued their friendship outside back home in Brooklyn. I had been trying to strong arm Miriam into hosting a party and so it worked out well that Tony and Laura did it for everyone. Miriam and Marc brought friends and Sue kindly took flyers to the neighbor’s open house party to promote camp. Everyone was working…including Rufus who I sent with Sue and my daughter Eve to crash the party and show all those potential campers how great the teens are and how cute our youngest campers can be! Hard to resist a little baby enticing you to join…
Jim and I met Christine, new to the Brooklyn scene, for dinner the next day at a groovy little restaurant and, as we were chatting, she informed us that Sophie and Joseph live one (count it, 1) block away from her. Their daughters are now good friends and they all met at camp, Christine used to live in the Boston area. Earlier that day Jim and I had visited the school that the girls both attend and the principal knows Martha, our strings guru, and Russ! (In fact I also learned that everyone in Brooklyn knows Martha but that’s for another blog post…)
One of our core values is “connection” and we hope you have some at camp. Connection to nature, connection with your family, connection with the community, connection with a new friend, connection with yourself, and the list goes on. In the fast paced world outside of camp, filled with busy schedules, it can be a challenge to even befriend your neighbors. We love that camp gave these folks the opportunity to make those connections with those that live in their own communities at home. What connections will you make this summer???