By: Chris “Topher” Aderhold
There’s simply no way to prepare oneself for the sight of a 27 foot long, 11 foot tall hot dog barreling down the Camp Gray driveway.
It’s been 111 days since I last posted a blog to the Camp Gray website. Much has happened on Camp’s 225 acres over the course of those 111 days. Between then and now, 1,200 campers, with their families in tow, have come and gone down Camp’s long driveway; 50 staffers from 16 states, have come and gone down Camp’s long driveway; 30 families came and went down Camp’s long driveway this past weekend, having taken part in Camp’s 16th Annual Family Camp; oh, and yeah, there was that humungous hotdog. If we’re making a definitive list of everything that’s come and gone down Camp’s long driveway, the list would include several hundred animals and food delivery trucks and other random things, but let’s not. We’ll leave it at that – campers, staffers, families, and an enormous tube steak*.
Since Summer Camp concluded three weeks ago, I’ve had lots of time to reflect on all of the great things that took place at Camp over the course of the past 111 days. In thinking about those great things, one word comes to mind: grateful. How could I feel anything but? I’m grateful for all the people that came and went down that aforementioned driveway – because it’s truly the people that make Camp Gray Camp Gray – and yeah, I’m grateful for the huge hot dog on wheels.
You see, at Camp Gray, we love to dream big. We dream big in ways to improve Camp, and we dream big in ways to impact our campers, and we dream big in hiring the most quality staff possible. We dream big, and we want to encourage our staff to dream big, and so we dream of large visual aids to inspire big dreaming. Did you follow? Well, suffice it to say, all that dreaming led to an enormous hot dog, THE Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, arriving at Camp Gray on the night before our first group of Summer Camp campers came rolling down that long driveway this past June. That hot dog was big, as were our expectations for summer, and now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can tell you that those expectations weren’t merely met, they were exceeded. It was a darn good summer, and all I can feel is grateful.
As summer turns to fall, I’m thrilled to weekly share stories about summer, and with that, I’ll be sharing many of the things that I’m so grateful for after another wonderful summer at Camp Gray.
Perhaps what I’m most thankful for, is that so many of the amazing things that took place this summer were documented in the highest quality we’ve ever seen here at Camp Gray. For the first time in Camp’s history, a dedicated photographer/videographer was hired in order to best capture all of the faith, friends, and fun of Camp Gray. Molly Sweeney, a photography student from New York, was our inaugural photographer/videographer guinea pig. She spent the summer dreaming up creative ways to use her camera to tell the story of Camp Gray. The story of Camp Gray includes all those folks that came and went down Camp’s long driveway this summer – including the story of the Wienermobile.
Over the course of the next many Tuesdays, I’m excited to share dozens of stories from Camp, and I’m thrilled to use Molly’s extraordinary pictures and videos to accompany and compliment my words (actually, in reality, I’ll be using my words to attempt to accompany and compliment her great work…).
Please tune in next Tuesday to read about the upcoming premiere of Season Two of MUSIC MONDAYS. Before that, though, we invite you to check out the Camp Gray YouTube channel on THURSDAY to watch a special video that Molly made that involves every single one of the amazing staffers from Summer Camp 2013. 50 staffers from 16 states, all in one epic video. You don’t want to miss it!
Thanks to all that made Summer Camp 2013 one of the best in recent memory! God bless, friends!
Lastly, FRIENDS! PLEASE! Join us for the Camp Gray 60th Birthday Bash this Saturday, September 7th! Click HERE for details!
*tube steak – noun, the name for hotdogs, used by former Camp Gray Director Phil DeLong, because a hot dog, when eaten at Camp Gray, isn’t merely another hot dog, it’s a tube shaped delicacy!
+Big thanks to the Meriggioli’s, a Camp family that helped to schedule the visit by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!
Do you have questions (about CG, sports, faith, coffee… anything!) for the semi-regular Tuesdays with Topher mailbag? Email! Thanks to those that have already emailed over questions! Check out the latest mailbag by clicking here.