Here’s a First Time story from resident summer staff member Christy Pill:
My first time at Camp Stevens was for the sort of visit that I now hear labeled as “fancy camp.” It was at the wedding celebration of Ashley and Trevor Graham-Wilcox in May of 2007. I knew the couple through a mutual friend back east, and was delighted to have the opportunity to join them as they joined together in marriage.
Looking back to that event 5 years ago, it is not difficult to connect that visit with the terrific times I’m having as a new summer staff member. Several elements of the trip stuck in my head during the time between my that visit and now, not only drawing me back, but continuing to contribute to the joy I feel every day I wake up here.
- First and foremost of these lasting memories was–not surprisingly–the natural beauty of Camp Stevens. I had never been to Southern California before the wedding, but it became clear that the region surpasses its reputation in that regard. I know that a lot has changed physically for the camp between 2007 and now, but the big beautiful picture remains.
- Second is a specific memory: Singing “Country Roads” in the Blum Lodge during an open mic night/community gathering/talent show the couple hosted. You see, I’m a West Virginian. And any place who embraces Mr. Denver’s love song to my Mountain state with such gusto is more than a-ok by me.
- Next, I recall in vivid detail participating in the Leap of Faith ropes activity. The moment atop the pole, the moment when I could feel my breath and hear my heart as if there were outside of myself left a visceral impression that I won’t ever forget. Challenge by choice–so powerful!
- Fourth, I recall kind hearts in their families and friends. Trevor and Ashley’s nuptials were in a community where people think positivity and live intentionally.
- Finally, of course, I hold dear the memory of their actual wedding in Pond Meadow. To me, this event defines the mid-camp space.
I feel blessed that my path has led back to this special place. Just like so many other intangible discoveries we make during adventure sessions here at Camp Stevens, I can’t fully describe my thoughts and feelings; I’m just simply grateful for the here and now.
2012 marks the 60th year of Camp Stevens. Over the next few weeks – leading up to our September 2nd Open House celebration – we’ll be sharing people’s reflections on their first times at Camp Stevens. Share your story by emailing ashleyATcampstevensDOTorg.