The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same…
Something happened recently that made me realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. As I was mindlessly floating through my Facebook feed I stumbled upon a great picture of some of our Tyler Hill CIT boys from 2015 arm in arm at our end-of-summer banquet. Without really focusing on who was standing in the picture I was immediately reminded of a picture that I was in almost 30 years ago to the day. In fact, when I first saw it pop up on my Facebook feed, I kind of thought it was that actual picture which I had not seen in many years. In 1985, I too stood arm in arm with my best friends and fellow CIT’s at the end-of-summer banquet at Camp White Mountain in West Virginia.
So I spent the next two hours searching through old camp pictures with faded edges and frayed corners, smiling as I tried to remember specifically what was going on as each photo was being taken. But I still couldn’t find THAT photo. I finally e-mailed the old friends that were in the picture with me and one of them found it immediately and sent it along. When I shared with that group of friends the picture of the CIT’s from this past summer, their reactions were similar to mine — they also initially thought it was the picture from 30 years ago. Of course after putting the two pictures side by side it’s easy to see the physical differences (sadly)!
However, while the hair and clothing styles have changed for the better over the past 30 years, what truly matters hasn’t. When my friends and I took that picture in 1985 we had the exact same emotions in our heads and hearts as these boys did this past August. We had feelings of pride that we were the “big shots” in camp and everyone looked up to us. We were (of course) the best athletes, best looking, smartest CIT’s to have ever graced the fields and the bunks of Camp White Mountain, and we were going to be the most amazing junior counselors the next summer. We all shared the same feelings of being happy and grateful that we were given the chance to be part of such an amazing community, but we were also terribly sad that the summer was coming to an end. And it felt even more heartbreaking since it was not just the end of another summer at camp, it was the end of our career as campers at our favorite place in the world. It was the end of our last summer living together as campers in one bunk. It would mean that while we might all be together at camp in future summers, it would never be the same.
That photo — to me — captures it all. And I’m sure when these boys look back at it many years from now, they’ll recall the same emotions and feelings. Though for them it will be easier to find the photo since they’ll be able to pull it up digitally.
As it turned out, both camp and our friendships continued to get better with time. Becoming a counselor at the place we grew up and loved was incredible and taught us so many life skills that we all took with us and use to this day. We were all in each other’s wedding parties and are now watching all of our own children grow up and have their own camp experiences. As I think about my own daughters, I can’t help but hope that they too will have a picture like this that will spark fond memories and remind them of the friends they made and the experiences they shared throughout their summers at Tyler Hill.
Happy & healthy new year to all!!