By Keith Vanderzee, CEO
Every child deserves a real superhero and in the next week, they will be arriving at Camp Mason! They may come by bus, car or train, but make no mistake they are real superheroes.
My earliest and best memories of camp all revolve around the camp staff. I remember Kevin Roden, a real outdoorsman, who took our camp group on a “rattlesnake hunt.” Looking back I am sure it was probably just a nature hike because even in the early 70’s, it was probably not appropriate to take 10 year old boys looking for rattlesnakes! But at the time, and in my mind’s eye still, is the image of this young bearded man, standing 7 feet tall with a forked stick which he told us was to pin the rattlesnake’s head so it wouldn’t bite him. He strode through the woods with the confidence and stature of Paul Bunyan and we were in awe of him. And then there is Jergen, from Germany. I picture him as a caricature- a tall, blonde as can be man with ridiculously wide shoulders and bulging biceps. Jergen was a lifeguard and I distinctly remember him jumping off the bridge stanchions on the Esopus River into whirlpools and teaching us that the way to escape a whirlpool was to swim out the bottom where it got thinner. I picture him now popping out of the bottom of the water, all muscles and smiling- basically walking on water!
These are the types of memories and stories your children will come home and tell. Listen to them with wonder and awe because that is what they believe. When you hear the story of their counselors who wrestled a bear (or two!) or when you hear the story of the counselor who shot an arrow blindfolded across the camp only to hit the bulls-eye, remember that the stories may not be true, but they are real.
Superheroes really do live today. They live at Camp Mason and we can’t wait to introduce your children to them.