I’ll be hitting the road with the motor home on Monday for the first time in quite a while. It won’t be a long trip, just eight days from Texas to Georgia and back. One night on the road each way and five nights in the North Georgia mountains. Building a house doesn’t leave much time, or money, for traveling around in a motorhome. The house has been under construction for some time now but is almost finished. We should be able to start moving soon after returning from this trip to Georgia. It is really a bad time to take off, with the house so near completion. However, this trip is for a really special occasion.
When I was a kid, from age ten to fifteen years old, I went off to summer camp for anywhere from a month to two months. The summer after I graduated from high school I worked as a counselor at the camp. My brother and sister also went to camp for several summers. The camps were Camp Dixie for Boys, located in Wiley, GA (you will be hard pressed to find Wiley on a map) and Camp Dixie for Girls in Clayton, GA. My sister went to the girl’s camp. After I was married, my son and daughter spent many of their summers at Camp Dixie. Hopefully, my grandson will want to go to Camp Dixie next summer.
The boys camp is long gone and the girl’s camp has changed hands a few times. The girls camp became Camp Dixie for Boys and Girls before my children began attending.
Carol Ann (she did not go to Camp Dixie, although she grew up in Toccoa, GA, probably thirty miles or less from the camp), my daughter Kristin, grandson Jamie, and I will be attending the Dixie Camps’ Centennial Celebration over the coming weekend.
My first year at camp was in 1954, sixty years ago when the camp was only forty years old. I really enjoyed my summers at camp. We went on overnight canoe trips (portaging over dams and shooting the rapids on the other side), overnight horseback rides, overnight hiking trips, and even overnight truck trips to places too far away to paddle, ride, or walk. We water skied at Lake Rabun and saw “Unto These Hills” in Cherokee, NC. I hiked for a week on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and North Carolina before the park service began trapping the bears and relocating them far from the trail. There would always be several bears following us with their noses and trying to steal our food after dark. They would even walk around our sleeping bags looking for food but they never really bothered us (you just lay very still and prayed!). If they got too close we threw rocks at them and they would run away.
Anyway, we hope Jamie likes this little taste of camp life. Kids need to get away from the TVs, cell phones, iPads, laptops, and computer games for some good quality time out in the real world communing with nature and learning to love it.