And so is camp! The new pavilion is going up, leaves are going down, and cars and buses continue to roll in for the last few days of the fall season. With the constant countdown to summer camp posted on Facebook and Instagram, one would think that there is substantially less happening here at Mason over the fall and into the winter. This is not the case. We have had crazy weeks here at camp over the past few months. A different kind of crazy from the summer, but hectic nonetheless.
Long days with ropes setup starting at 6:30 in the morning, ending with night hikes lasting til 9. Days filled with back-to-back ecology classes, and hours of belaying. Sometimes we facilitate every activity for a group, from a structured course on sustainability to leading songs around a campfire. Other times, we are merely here in the background, as the group has (almost) free reign over camp. I have been lucky enough to experience Mason both in the summer and the fall. I could not tell you which season I prefer – these are two different camps that happen to be in the same spot, with their own kind of magic.
Just as summer staff were challenged to “Make Magic,” we make magic here at the Outdoor Center with every new or returning group that visits us. Whether we are explaining the science behind the changing foliage that lights up camp with its dazzling splendor, or guiding a nervous 8th grader through the full high ropes course, Camp Mason continues to impact the kids that come here. The Outdoor Center is much more than a plug for summer camp – it is its own entity. In a span of a few hours to several days, students learn about themselves and the natural world around them. I have never visited Mason with my school. I am a naturalist who lives and works on camp seasonally, however, like my coworkers and the participants I teach, I too, am a student who constantly learns and grows in this unique, magical place that has so much to offer, no matter the season.