"If it's not fun, why do it?"

Visiting Day

Catskill Mountains Sign

The deep ravines, irregular ridges and rocky slopes of the Catskill Mountains long remained wild and desolate. …The mountains have long been famous as a resort area. In 1885, the State established the Forest Preserve to safeguard forever the natural resources.
Water from mountain streams stored in great reservoirs–Ashokan, Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton and Roundout–is conveyed by aqueducts and tunnels to supply New York City.

I’m heading up Route 17 for a ritual called Visiting Day. This occurs twice each summer when parents/friends/family visit their children who are ensconced in summer camps nestled in the verdant, cool hills of the Catskills. In my case, I’m not visiting a camper. My son is a counselor at Camp HASC, “a unique summer program which provides over 300 children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable camp experience.” It’s a wonderful place, a caring place, with a close to 1:1 ratio of staff to campers.

Visiting a camper, for the child, reconnects him/her to home. The parent brings treats, sees the facilities, gets a good feeling and the child knows Daddy and Mommy love him/her. You go home, and the child returns home in two weeks. I drove 12 hours round trip in one day to visit my sons at camp in the Poconos when they were young.I needed the visit, they welcomed it, too. I also visited my sons when they worked at a typical summer camp. Nice, great to see them, now goodbye.

Visiting a my son the counselor at Camp HASC brings up other emotions: this is where my child works, here are the people he helps, this is the kind of life he is building. It takes a special kind of person to give of yourself so deeply, to care so deeply, to work so hard for the good of others.

I’m looking forward to this Visiting Day. Soon I’ll be at camp!

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Photo credit: “NY – New Baltimore: Catskill Mountains” by Wally Gobetz, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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