We’re From Camp Dark Waters

We’re from Dark Waters our camp is a good one, we fight the mosquito that are 7 feet tall. The horseflies may eat us, but they’ll never beat us cause we’re from Dark Waters and we are on the ball! Sing, Sing Sing… umgawa, umgawa, umgawa, umgawa umgawa, umgawa, umgawa, wow wow!

From the first memory of nature, I remember every summer when I was 10 till 14 years old, I would attend a Quaker camp in Medford New Jersey called Camp Dark Waters. I was fully immersed in nature for three weeks without any complaints. The camp was embedded within the pine barren woods with a beautiful creek bordering the end of the property. Dark brown water possessed the creek as a result of the sap dripping down from the Pine trees on the acre. Since the camp has the creek running through it, there has been some flooding problems destroying the dining hall as well as some of the girl cabins. There has been lots of rebuilding and renovating to ensure that the camp is more stable. Grands of sand cover the ground in the common area with holly leaves intermixed into the compound. Stepping on a holly leave was always painful, prying it out with your bare hands and continuing on your adventure. Nobody ever wore shoes around camp, which built up strong calluses on the bottoms of your feet. The cabins were separated by gender and some cabins had rivals against one another. As a young girl, my connection to nature was inevitable from the beginning. Every activity that I could possibly imagine was finally possible.

As a young girl, I was ecstatic to have the privilege and opportunity to be entwined with the natural world. The activities were limitless and free to explore my inner personal relationship with nature. The camp started with a big bone fire to introduce the camp counselors and to meet new campers. Every day was filled with extraordinary activities and events which included archery, canoeing, making friendship bracelets, swimming, capture the flag, frisbee, rope course, etc…, I cannot possibly name all the options, but there were a range of activities that campers could participate in. I can remember watching people practice canoeing in order to move up onto the next level. For every level, campers had to past a test to continue to the next canoeing level. The levels start with Bowman then Sterman and finally ended with Master. Us campers also had some responsibilities regarding the wider campus chores such as cleaning the dishes/dining hall, cleaning the bathrooms and cleaning the pool. One of my favorite memories was making chocolate chip cookies in the dining hall late at night with my cabin mates and remember hearing the cicadas and crickets chirping as they harmonized with our talking and chatter. During a rainstorm, the soothing sound of the pitter-patter water droplets showering down on the tin roof. Camp Dark Waters was my second home, and there is no place I would rather be right now than in the comfort of the natural world. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *