Sometimes it seems as though my life is split into different sections, separated by time and often quite great distances. Over the last 3 years I’ve found myself doing different things and being in different places in monthly increments. A year no longer really means anything to me anymore, as it’s more about all the things I manage to fit into the year than the year itself as a measure of time. I travelled the world in 2011/12 – one and half months in SE Asia, two and half in Australia, two months in New Zealand and Fiji, four months in the USA. Then for 2012/13 I returned back to England for three months, before moving to France for another three. Then I headed back to camp for almost four. And this past year of course, I’ve been living in Australia – four months in Sydney, followed by three on the farm.
And now here I am back at Camp Sloane for another summer… another three and a half months. Since my first year at camp, a ‘year’ really doesn’t mean to me what it means to most people. A year to me is the eight months that I have to fill between September when camp ends and May when camp begins again. If you’ve never been to camp then you really can’t understand the pull that it has, the power to draw you back summer after summer. I think the majority of us would work here year round if we could!
I’ve been back at Sloane for just under a week and it feels as if I’ve never left, as if the last eight months in Australia just didn’t happen. It’s a very surreal feeling to think about how just 3 weeks ago I was still at the farm, giving tours and playing with all my favourite animals! We had a great week or so with friends in Sydney and then it was a VERY long three-day journey to San Francisco and on to New York, where we spent the day shopping in Soho, before boarding that train back to camp.
Even after being awake for 35 hours straight, the feeling I get when the car pulls into the Sloane driveway and we slowly make our way up the hill is one I reserve just for that special moment. There’s nothing quite like returning to a place you love, a place that makes you feel pure joy and happiness, a place that makes you feel safe and nervous and excited all at once.
There’s only about 10 of us here at camp at the moment, working the Spring season, which pretty much just means doing a whole number of different things to get camp ready for the summer when the kids arrive. We had a school group (of the cutest kids in the world) here for a few days too, so I was working with them doing all sorts of various activities including games, hiking, art, fishing and canoeing. And once they left we’ve all been busy with other jobs around camp like setting up a lot of the athletics fields, putting the moorings in down at boating and spreading A LOT of wood chips, especially down at our new 50ft climbing tower.
It’s pretty great to be back here at Sloane, to be with all my friends, working hard, playing hard and getting ready to say hello to the summer.