A couple weeks ago, one of my posts was a spoof on Summer Camp. Following that post, I had not expected to undergo a mild case of nostalgia after remembering various aspects of my actual summer camp experience during my youth. I was surprised at the flood of memories that came to mind! In predictable fashion, a whimsical poem began to draw certain images and test how they’d work themselves into verse.
One of those images, the Elephant Rocks shown above, pretty much demanded to be included, so being the pushover I am when my brain is so insistent, I worked the mental image of elephant rocks into what I was writing. With that impossible phrase included, the poem took on its own style.
A word to those who question the existence of both boondocks and elephant rocks, please be assured I didn’t make up these things. Boondocks may describe numerous places (especially in the South, especially in states with a generally rural landscape as Missouri has), but the boondocks description definitely fit the location of the summer camp I attended in childhood. Further, the camp I attended (located in the southeastern part of Missouri) was within close proximity of both the Johnson Shut-Ins State Park and the Elephant Rocks State Park.
Boondocks? Check. Elephant Rocks? Another check.
The resulting poem is an amalgamation of memories, some of which were rooted in my summer camp experiences during childhood. However, as a teenager, I also spent summers working in a summer camp environment. I’ve folded some of those memories into the poem as well.
The final lines of the poem mostly describe those summers when I wasn’t a camper but a worker. Some precious friendships were forged at that time, friendships that have been sustained these many years. Though the summer camp bonfires burned out long ago, certain bonds have remained strong and ones where each subsequent interaction has been cherished. I linger, yes … and remember how blessed I am.