This will be the 1,000th post that I’ve made on this blog. It’s hard to think that I’ve had it this long, but I’m so glad that I’ve managed to keep up with it—even if my posts can be sporadic at times. It has served as a scrapbook of memories and happenings that I am so glad I’ve preserved.
I started this blog back in 2009 when I was about to embark on a series of life adventures, and I wanted a way to capture them and preserve them as I learned how to step out into the wild world. Largest of all these adventures was my employment at a summer camp called Long Lake Camp for the Arts in Long Lake, NY. By happenstance I found Long Lake while looking for summer jobs, and quickly enough I was hired as the photography teacher. Little did I know that this chance summer job would change my life forever.
Quickly after arriving at Long Lake Camp for the Arts, nestled deep in the Adirondack Mountains, I realized that I had found my second home. Staff from around the world gathered at the camp, and soon torrents of children arrived, bringing their immeasurable skills, talents, and passions with them. I was immediately immersed in an endless, exhausting, and exhilarating world of art, music, theater, dance, circus, and outdoor adventures as I worked side by side with talented staff and incredible children.
I taught photography eight hours a day, where I made my home in the darkroom. At night I photographed the incredible and never-ending activities that the kids were participating in. Rock Band nights with full lineups of bands the campers had formed, ten-year-olds wailing on electric guitars with more dextrous fingers than Jimi Hendrix (I kid you not). Performing arts nights where kids got to show off their talents, performing stunning dance routines, or singing opera, or playing their cello more magnificently than anyone in the London Philharmonic.
Every day I was left staggering by the sheer talent and excitement that these kids brought to this camp. I watched circus performances on the flying trapeze, dance concerts with soon-to-be professional ballerinas, musicals that brought you to your feet in standing ovation, and artists in the Fine Arts Building destined for greatness.
What started as a fun summer job soon became a deep-seated love of mine. I spent three summers teaching at Long Lake, and every summer was filled with new memories, adventures, and excitement.
I cannot speak enough of how much this place forever changed my life for the better. I met some of my best friends there, people I stay in close contact with, people that will welcome me with open arms to their houses across the globe. I met my boyfriend, Jim, with whom I spent three summers teaching. I found a place that, to this day, feels like home to me.
I still dream of Long Lake at night, I remember my hours teaching photography, waking up to a stunning mountain vista, and working with the most talented and passionate kids and young adults that I have ever met. It is to Long Lake I owe a deep debt of gratitude, for it changed my life entirely for the better.
And so, on my 1,000th blog post I’d like to say: Here’s to you, Long Lake Camp for the Arts. Thank you for the memories, for the adventure, for everything that you have given to me and every other person who has spent time within your magnificent camp. Our love for you will never fade.