Like many summer camps, at FMC there are a number of traditions that help sustain the camp spirit and that the campers love from year to year. The second weekend marks many of those traditions, with our annual feast to honor the two-weekers, our campfire on the island (or in the Girls’ Dorm lounge, as it happened last year), the always-amusing two-weeker musical on Sunday, and a host of other events.
Today, we got to experience two of those traditions: first, our annual canoe trip, and second, friend of the camp (and fairly well-known Friend in general) Chuck Fager reading his own writing to the campers.
The canoe trip takes place on the “mighty” Tuscarawas River, a bit upstate from Barnesville in Zoar, Ohio. The setting is pretty, and we have been going there since I was a camper in the 1980s. The trip has remained much the same, although the river has gotten a little deeper and faster in places, and we had a really nice day for it today — not too hot, but pleasant. The trip even has a musical highlight (yes, even on the canoe trip): we often sing the round “Summer Teeth,” written by staff member Brendan Cooney several years ago, as our response to the safety video the canoe livery shows. Sound strange? Ask a camper who’s been there — the folks at the livery love it.
Chuck Fager has been visiting FMC for 25 years to read his stories. Tonight he started by telling us how he got started with this tradition when he just dropped by FMC for a visit one year; then he went on to share several of his own tales, both those from his life and those which were fictionalized. This is a relaxing evening and a chance to hear some very interesting stories, and while he always shares some new ones, he has repeats that are camper favorites year after year.
We’re looking forward to even more of our camp traditions this weekend.