Summer Reflection by Sophie Schildroth

I started going to PL when I was eight years old. I remember the day my family came to pick me up so clearly. I was sad to be leaving something I had never experienced before. The first thing I said to my mom was, “Can I go again?” There are many moving parts of life, but one thing that has always remained constant is Pilgrim Lodge. The familiar sound of the loons, the smell of ugly cake, and the words of my favorite song filling the silence at night when the boardwalk is quiet, and the lights are out, and all you can hear is the faint sound of the staff singing you to sleep:

How could anyone ever tell you,

you are anything less than beautiful?           

How could anyone ever tell you,

You are less than whole?

How could anyone fail to notice,

That your loving is a miracle?

How deeply you’re connected to my soul. (-Libby Roderick)

     Every year I wait for summer to begin. I grow older at camp; I find myself a bit more with each lap of the labyrinth. Every year for one week, life is still like the water of Cobbosseecontee. Every year in mid-July, I drive down the camp road filled with anticipation for the week before me. I see the picnic tables where I have made countless s’mores, the field where I have been covered in shaving cream from whiffle ball, and finally, the sign that reads “Pilgrim Lodge.” That is when I know I am home. I love the little things about camp: like when it rains, so we do our service inside, and the staff members mimic the echo; I love the way the lodge looks worn with years of fun, and I love the creak of the swings during ice cream time. But most of all, I love the feeling of being so totally and completely myself. No phone, no worrying about what I look like, and laughing along with my friends along the boardwalk.

     As I approach my final summer as a camper, I am determined to treasure all the little moments I have left, but I am also so excited to begin my journey of giving back to camp as an adult in 2024. I am beyond blessed to call Pilgrim Lodge my home.

Happy campers together.