Culver Family Camp is our favorite week of summer. Held at my high school, the camp brings back graduates of Culver Academies and Culver Woodcraft to reconnect with old friends and reenergize as a family with a week filled with outdoor adventure.
For new campers, even those familiar with Culver, it can be overwhelming. Where do I sign up for tubing? Can my 8-year-old shoot an air rifle? Are kids content to be dropped at the kids’ nightly activity if I attend an adults-only one? They are too many options for too much fun. It’s a nice predicament to be in.
Plus, since camp’s only a week, veterans in the know race from activity to activity with the understanding that they still won’t get to everything which only leads to more anxiety for camp newbies.
“It’s our first time,” a blond mom shares with me that night while we stand side-by-side brushing our teeth in the shower house. “It’s my husband who went to Culver,” she offers, anticipating a question I’m certain she’s been asked a dozen times today. “I’ve never been here before.”
“If you married in, you’re in the club,” I laugh. She nods and grins. She knows.
It’s a lesson my husband also knows. Married at the Culver chapel, an attendee of class reunion and area reunion events and a 4-time Family Camper, he knows all too well.
We talk a few more minutes and I answer some questions about different activities. I tell her not to miss Carnival, it’s a highlight for the kids. She agrees to sign up for Casino Night for just adults the same night as my friends and I.
We say good night and each head to our respective cabins. I hope she feels welcomed. Actually, I hope she feels like a member of the Culver family, a huge extended family that reaches all corners of the globe but whose heart is nestled in rural Indiana.