North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wedding Bells for a NSC Alum

I just returned to camp from a three day trip to Columbus, OH. My leaving for an extended period of time in the middle of the summer isn't usual, but this weekend marked a special occasion. I had the honor of attending the wedding of NSC alum Aaron Hamer to his lovely wife Lauren. Aaron spend nine years at North Star, first as a camper and then as a counselor (his last year was 2005). Aaron and Lauren celebrated their nuptials surrounded by family and friends... more than a few of whom were tied to Aaron through North Star.

In total, there were sixteen of us at the wedding who were either current or former campers and/or staff. Aaron's younger brother, Zach, as well as three of his cousins spent time at North Star. In his wedding toast, Zach recalled his first year as a camper at North Star, when Aaron (who was already a counselor) took Zach under his wing and helped him adjust to life at camp.

One of the things that the wedding weekend represented to me was the impact that camp has on each of us. Obviously, without North Star, the dozen or so of us never would have been there to celebrate Aaron's wedding. I imagine that when each of our parents first decided to send us to North Star one of their goals was that we make friends. Whether they realized that years later we'd be celebrating each other's weddings is a another story.

Whether its at North Star or another camp, when you talk to someone who has spent a good portion of their summers at camp they more than likely will tell you that they consider their camp friendships to be amongst their strongest. When you are a part of a community like a camp, when you live together in a bunk, go on canoe trips together, spend days together while on staff, you share experiences that aren't found in many other walks of life. We regularly hear from staff who only spent one year at NSC and they tell us about the friends that they are still keeping in touch with, long after their time at camp.

Camp isn't just a summer thing. We know that throughout the year campers get together with the friends they made during the summer. Counselors often travel to see their long time friends. And camp certainly goes beyond the summers you spend in the Northwoods.