Camp Woodland Blog

Natalia’s Greatest Gift…..

IMG_7532Right around this time we start to look back on our year, and since we (as part of the TP/W family) spend a considerable part of ours in the Northwoods of Wisconsin,  we go back and go through camp pictures. It is impossible for me to put into words how much Camp Woodland has shaped my life, but, in the spirit of giving and sharing this Holiday season, I can say it is, along with Towering Pines, one of the biggest gifts my family has ever received but never really expected or asked for in a way. I don’t think my parents knew what they were getting themselves into when they sent my brother and I over 10 years ago to an American summer camp, but it was the best decision they would ever make regarding us, their youngest son, and eventually all my younger cousins.

Camp, I have learned, is the gift of true friendship, one that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and this statement must not be taken lightly.  My family and I have made friends there that will last for a lifetime and that is something you do not want your daughter to go without.

Camp is the gift of strength. Of acquiring it; of knowing your limits, of wanting to expand themselves; striving to be the best you can be. It is not only physical, but emotional. You learn to cooperate and to live and breath diversity. Camp is the gift of love and laughter, of leadership and skill. This was very important for an awkward kid like myself, who had never been on a horse, or on a boat or away from my parents for so long.

IMG_6312Woodland presented itself to me as the opportunity for discovering I could do things I never even knew existed. What more would a kid ask from life? Towering Pines and Camp Woodland are the perfect present even when we are not there. It takes about 1.4 seconds to think about one’s personal favorite place at camp and your problems are basically solved for the day. Camp is the gift of wind in your face when biking down the road, water splashing on the edge of sailboats, the smells of pizza after a long day of very hard work and the excitement right before Coed-Show on a Thursday afternoon. What days are more perfect than those? I can think of none.

10 years later I still can’t wait for June to come around. It may seem like it is still too far down the line, but, as a family, you probably will not have many breaks like this one to talk about your summer plans again, so it is never to early to start discussing it, just a tip.

But most importantly, for a lot of us, I like to believe, camp gifted with one thing: the love for music. It is everywhere. In every corner, in every cabin, in every campfire and hall. In the sunsets and sunrises, when we’re all together and even when we are not. Pictures burn, get lost, we don’t like them, people change. But songs linger, melodies remain and people never forget the songs that made them fall in love with the place we all call home away from home.


Happy Holidays  Camp family (and all of our new families too!)

– Natalia O
Director of Dance at Camp Woodland
10th year at Camp Woodland