My girl and I had our first of what I hope is many weekends away together.
Rock climbing, creek stomping, tree painting, tie-dying, canoeing, singing, good food eating, good friend chatting, new friends, campfire skits, and bunk bed sleeping (or two on a twin mattress, so we're extra close).
A lot of rain, fear of heights, me realizing I didn't actually know how to canoe after we were already on the lake.
It was full of fun and adventure.
There is something beautiful about witnessing each others highs and lows away from home and realizing we can't do much more than be witness to them while offering each other encouragement.
She climbed, I rowed, we played and played- damp, chilled, eventually not aware of either.
We'll go back next year and hopefully the year after that!
I can't help but wonder what each year we retreat together will bring. I noticed how different the experience looked for mothers with older children. They got to sleep in their own bunk, for instance.
How many years will she want to go with me? How many more years will she push my cheeks together, like she did, and tell me the best part was just being with her mama?
I try to remember, our time together is as good now as it was when she was too little to go on retreat; it's just different.
I suspect each year will be different too, and it won't matter whether we are snuggled on a twin or I am left way behind on the trail, I know I'll be grateful to be there with her.
It will be my best part.
Locals- Camp Rancho Framasa in Brown County has wonderful mother/daughter, father/son, family, and summer camps. As someone who is not a Catholic or Christian, I felt very welcome and at ease there.
Kelly Sage, Mother Daughter Participant 2016
You will find a new landscape at camp this year!
The towering Red Pine Trees that you have become accustomed to see in camp’s landscape were planted here during a 1960s fad to plant Christmas Tree Farms. Over the last 50 years, they have grown tall and provided the landscape that inspired the beautiful “Pines Amphitheater”, where we celebrate outdoor Mass, prayer services, listen to Steve bellow “The first rule at camp….”, and create crazy, silly fun during drama!
What the original planters of the pines did not realize is that 50 years later, these Red Pines would become victim to the Pine Bark Beetle! The Pine Bark Beetles have burrowed under the bark of our pine trees, cutting off the flow of nutrients for the trees, causing them to slowly die. They have helped teach us an interesting lesson on the benefit of native vs. non-native plants: The Red Pines are the only non-native pines planted on camp, and they are the only pine trees to fall victim to the Pine Bark Beetle. The beetles do not touch the native pine trees.
Lucky for us, we are a part of the 30 year Forest Bank program; where we get to work with consultants from The Nature Conservancy that support us in maintaining a healthy forest. In consultation with them, we have removed our red pines and have received a Federal EQIP grant to plant a pollinator field with native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.
While we are sad to say goodbye to our pine trees, we are excited for this pollinator field, which will bring to life a healthy and new home for native flora, fauna, and fungi!
A huge thanks to The Nature Conservancy for helping us live out one of our Core Values, Stewards of the Earth!
Anne Taube, Assistant Camp Director