Camp Abbey is the place that we love! Oh my heart. I spent 11 wonderful summers at Camp Abbey. I was a camper for 7, counselor for 4. They called me Cupcake! Some of my favorite memories growing up were created at this magical and special place. I was going through my closet the other day, and I came across the memory book one of my co-counselors gifted me the last summer I was there. I love going down the Camp Abbey memory lane.
My son is 10.5 and has not done a sleep away camp yet. I could count on one maybe two hands the number of times he’s spent the night out (excluding family). I considered sending my son to Camp Abbey this summer (boys go in June, girls go in July) but our calendar was already pretty full. This is the first summer I think he could survive sleeping out for a week. Especially if he was with friends. He is an extrovert though, so I think he would do ok on his own. Recently one of my physical therapy technicians said “he doesn’t meet a stranger does he” … no, no he does not! He’s still a mama’s boy though. And he likes sleeping at home (just like me), so I think going with friends would make it feel more like a really long sleepover … like summer camp! It would be great for him. Just like it was great for me.
Summers at Camp Abbey really are an escape for a kid. Doesn’t matter if it’s a week as a camper or a month as a counselor. When you drove through those gates, the air changed. You were home. You would feel the butterflies in your heart. You were about to have one of the greatest times of your life! Every summer you returned with excitement. Every summer you would count down the days until you could go back. Every summer you looked forward to seeing familiar faces, most you only saw once a summer (we didn’t have social media). Those were the best hugs. Genuine I miss you hugs, heart to heart. Camp Abbey is a sisterhood (and a brotherhood too)!
I still miss it.
I miss skit nights and Indian ceremony. I miss spirit sticks and gold dust pans. I miss Abbey hikes on “free” Wednesday. I miss gymp and spin art. I miss slushies and frozen snickers. I miss Peg Leg Pete. I miss the troll bridge. I don’t miss camp out. I miss late night swim. I miss rest hour. I miss flag pole. I miss chapel mass. I miss Abbey the alligator. I miss welcome fire. I miss Little Sally Walker and Killer (iykyk). I miss camp names. I miss grace before meals. Sometimes I still wish I could go back there for just ONE MORE DAY. I don’t live in these memories or think about them all the time. But I always get a little nostalgic when summertime is starting. I will remember my Camp Abbey memories for the rest of my life. Truly memories made that last a lifetime!
I had the opportunity to be a counselor for a fifth year. It was the summer after my freshmen year of college at LSU. I wasn’t in a good place. Looking back on it now, Camp Abbey is exactly where I needed to be. All of me…heart, soul and mind. I missed the God nudge. Unfortunately, I declined my counselor invitation that summer, and it’s one of the few things I regret in my life. I feel so lucky I got to experience Camp Abbey summer after summer. I hope you’ve experienced her love too. If you haven’t, you should check it out.