Monday, February 14, 2011

camp

i had the great pleasure of being a guest at my good friend Patty's camp recently. it's a half mile off the closest plowed road, so four of us snowshoed ourselves in, along with enough food and drink for dinner, the evening, breakfast and the morning.

Camp Maine sits atop a small hill overlooking Seven Mile Stream, the outlet of Webber Pond. i am told the smallmouth fishing in the stream can be fantastic. i will return in future, warmer months and lazily cast poppers from a canoe with Pat. been a while since i chugged some poppers for smallies.
i have been to a handful of camps in Maine over the years and i am drawn to them. most of the ones i've been to are within eyeshot of fishy water, so maybe as i try to describe what "camp" means to me, i'll start there. camp is a place, away from home, to frolick in the outdoors. most often, at least in Maine, the prominent outdoor activities are fishing or hunting, but there's no reason why any camp-goer can do whatever they want - fish, hunt, hike, swim, sun bathe, or stay inside and read. i'll go ahead and add that to my definition: camp is a place where you can do whatever you want.

i know people who go to camp, their greatest desire to cook for everyone else at camp. some go to camp to work on camp, while others go to camp and spend nearly every minute of daylight in the area around camp. whatever the actual motivating activity may be, whenever it's done, camp is there for food, spirits, conversation and rest.

most camps, at least the ones i've been in, have a lot in common as far as their construction, contents and therefore their overall atmosphere. wood is the dominant construction material. there's a porch. there are bunks, a fireplace and comfortable chairs. there are also a lot of shelves and drawers where things are stored. a lot of these 'things' are pretty old. they've been around camp for a while - and not necessarily this camp, but a camp. the things in camp are there because they need to be. that is to say, they are used. there's not a lot of things that sit on shelves and collect dust, the main reason being there isn't a lot of shelf space, the underlying one being that camp is not about living superfluously. there are tools, cooking utensils, a deck of cards and a cribbage board, a radio, some books, fishing and hunting gear, a journal; simple things. because of the simplicity of the things you find in camp, it follows that what goes on at camp is pretty simple: sleep, recreation, consumption, conversation.

and what else do you really need?

1 comment:

  1. well said my friend. you are welcome at camp maine anytime.

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