Everyone has a story and a special place they call home. Mine happens to be at Wyonegonic Camps in Denmark, Maine. I returned to this mystical place on August 19 - 21, 2012. Sometimes it’s hard for me to realize that 25 years have gone by since that first time I arrived. But on the other hand, nothing has changed. Instantly, I am transformed back in time.
I love Wyonegonic Camps because I’m in a place where my soul can expand in the presence of natural beauty. The trees comfort me and I am one with nature. My imagination is like the wheels, they keep on turning. I often remind myself, that no matter what happened the day before, it doesn’t matter. When I am there – time stands still and in the quiet of my heart I am in love with my surroundings. This is where my journey out of the darkness began…
It all began during the first week in June, 1987. I took the lower road, to the left. The only difference is that back then, it was around 11 P.M. and the sun had not begun to cut through the trees. I had no idea what lay ahead or what was in store for me. Some may say, it was risky, but at the time, I was propelled to keep moving forward and I prayed the whole time. My faith shields me.
This is my journey – an interrupted life from the one I left behind. My kids were asleep in the backseat of the car. I was confident that I was on the right road, George Sudduth; the Director of Wyonegonic Camps was very explicit when it came to giving directions. I remember calling him from a pay phone. I gave him my exact location and George told me I should expect to arrive around 11 P.M. He was right!
Although I was tired and weary, my eyes didn’t blink – at least I don’t think so. I drove for a long time before I got to my destination - the Wiggie at the shores of Moose Pond. I could see a light and I believed in the Light and that was good enough for me.
Sometimes we have to take risks. I couldn’t think of any negative thoughts, my kids were depending on me. If there were owls, bears, moose or any other creature, I was ever watchful and mindful not to cause harm. As luck would have it, George greeted me at the Wiggie. He showed me to my cabin in the woods and he helped me to get my kids to bed. He was a very kind and gentle soul.
The next morning I met Carol, George’s wife, also Director and owner of Wyonegonic Camps. She still runs the business with her son Steve and her daughter Susie. I worked at Wyonegonic Camps for five consecutive summers. My kids were campers and they developed skills more valuable than any educational program from their regular schools in Illinois. Both my son and daughter became Counselors in Training and Camp Counselors. They went on for 8 and 10 years. This was the most incredible experience of our life.
We all learned to dive into the unknown and we became stronger because of our experiences. There was tranquility, peace, challenges, opportunities, laughter and tears. Nobody ever wanted to go home – because THIS was home. In the cabin in the woods, we lived. We grew to love the sound of children and we appreciated the silence in our hearts. While they sailed successfully through camp programs, receiving many awards, I learned about business. Life is a process of continuous learning.
Individually, we each set our own sails and we learned that problems and conflicts are easier to manage if you assume responsibility and accountability without blaming others. Most of all, we learned three valuable lessons: 1) You cannot succeed in life if you do not fail; 2) You have to learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes; 3) When you say you forgive someone, you have to really mean it.
We lived in the little cabin in the woods. We learned about sustainability, recycling, teambuilding, friendship, how to help others overcome homesickness, sportsmanship, tennis, canoeing, swimming, sailing, windsurfing, mountain climbing, English Horseback Riding, archery, target practice, water skiing, and how to live with people from different cultures. Diversity was a part of life.
If you are thinking about sending your children to Summer Camp for an extraordinary experience, I recommend Wyonegonic Camps. Tell them Patricia sent you! Applications for summer camp fills up very FAST! Don’t delay! For more information visit Wyonegonic@maine.com or www.wyonegonic.com.
Story and Photos©.
Not to be copied without Author's Permission: Patricia Feager