Erinne Magee’s book, This Is Camp, took me to our camp with every poem and story. Even if you don’t have a camp, you will enjoy this book, but if you do have a camp, as you read Erinne’s poems and stories, you will enjoy remembering all of your own wonderful camp experiences.
Our camp is on the edge of Baxter Park, and we spent most of the summer there when our kids were growing up. Now our kids are taking our grandkids there, and last August our 3 and 5-year-old granddaughters climbed their first mountain. Our son Josh said he kept the 3-year-old climbing by feeding her chocolates all the way up the mountain. I told Josh, that would have worked for me too!
I loved it that Erinne provided a bunch of blank pages at the end of the book, and encouraged readers to write their own camp stories. Of course, I’ve been doing that for 40 years. And every day we were at camp, we’d write in our journal about the things we did that day. That journal is so much fun to read now. So I hope you will write your own camp stories at the end of this book.
I almost felt, as I read this book, that Erinne had been with us at our camp, as she wrote about everything from lawn games to the night sky, and enjoying the fire pit and s’mores to how everything tastes better at camp.
I don’t have the space to share all of my favorite poems and stories in this book, but it is amazing that she captured everything that is special about camp. Here’s one example:
Camp never leaves you
not in the winter
not if you move away
not if you become busy
or ill –
it’s presence isn’t just in our hearts –
bringing a sense of calm
whether we are physically there
I think that is so so true. Ok, I know I can’t print the entire book here, but let me finish with this, which is particularly important right now.
At camp something good
is always around the corner
at least, that’s how it feels.
What if we took this notion
and made it our way
of thinking and feeling
whether we were at camp