Camp Woodland Blog

Let Freedom Ring!

Posted by on July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!  I have to say that this is one of the few years that I am not at camp on the 4th of July, and it feels a little strange!  I had a string of over 20 summers where I spent the holiday at camp (either in WI or NC), and it feels weird to be in the “real” world and hear the tour vehicles with their guides on a loudspeaker system drive by my house in Galveston, TX, giving the visitors to the Island historic information about the neighborhood in which I live.


So, I decided to share a little historic information of my own about the 4th of July at Camp Woodland, since it is one of the rich traditions that campers experience summer after summer.  I remember my very first year as a counselor at Woodland in 1986 waking up to the sound of HORSES by my cabin instead of the usual wake-up bell.  I was a little startled to say the least, but I decided to roll with it and get into the spirit of the riders who were telling us that the “British were coming” and got my ten 13 and 14 year-old campers out of bed!

4th of July horses

The lodge was decked out in “red-white-and-blue” decorations that I’m sure the CIT on duty the day before had put up to make our dining experience festive.  Campers and counselors alike wore various patriotic clothing combinations of their own to contribute to the holiday celebration.  Activities continued as normal throughout the day; however, the hype for the evening’s “Red, White, and BOOM” campfire at Towering Pines built as campers negotiated the shower schedule to be sure everyone was squeaky clean and had time for proper primping before donning their Woodland Wear to get on the shuttle to drive to the boys camp.

Amelia and Gigi

While I’m sure that someone will write a blurb about the “Oooh, Aahh, Wonderfulness” of this highly anticipated campfire tomorrow with all of the fun songs, skits, and firecracker dedications, I can’t help but think about the tie-in to the true meaning of the reason we celebrate this July holiday in the first place.  We can be grateful to the many men and women who fought for the freedom we enjoy today and you can sleep even better tonight knowing that your camper has an incredible opportunity this summer to exercise this right during her camp experience at Woodland.

Here are just a FEW of freedoms that come to mind when I think of a summer at Woodland:

  • the choice to select activities according to interests and talents
  • the ability to try something new if desired (the 2nd activity sign-up is this weekend!)
  • the opportunity to get to know girls from a variety of  geographic locations, backgrounds, and age levels that may be different from their own
  • the encouragement to be “real” and not some “fake” version of yourself
  • the gift of being in an outdoor environment where the sky, lake, trees, animals, and flowers make up your living room
  • the support of counselors and other caring adults
  • the chance to be independent during this growing time away from family and friends from home
  • the time to be away from stresses and worries and have more FUN than you ever imagine!

So, the next time you hear, “Let Freedom Ring”, you can be thankful that your daughter has this AMAZING opportunity to experience Independence Day EVERY day…just by being at camp!

p.s. I am looking forward to joining the caring group of adults who look after your camper(s) from July 13th-August 3rd, and I CAN’T WAIT!!

Directors with Popsicles