Home is a funny word. In the most basic sense it’s the place you live, but in reality its meaning is more sentimental than physical. Home of course can mean your house, but more often it’s a place where you feel safe, warm and always welcome. I love the house I grew up and it will always be home because it’s filled with family and millions of memories. I But there is another place that has always been my home away from home, and that is Camp Taum Sauk.
I started going to camp when I was 10 or so and with a few exceptions I have spent the majority of my summers there since. Its about two hours south of St. Louis in a tiny, tiny little town called Lesterville, MO. Its situated right alongside the Black River and in the valley of the Taum Sauk mountains.
Camp Taum Sauk has given me many of the things that I hold dear. Basically it has defined me in ways that nothing else ever has. It has given me friends that I will have forever, it’s where I develop my love for country music, it has made me the leader and outgoing person I am today and it is where I met the love of my life. Without camp I would have an entirely different life today.
Taum Sauk is a little like Neverland, you can go there and get sucked into never growing up. But last summer I realized I needed to spend my summers working towards my future career. And while I love interning (last summer at KMOV News 4 and this summer at ALIVE), I miss the long summer days canoeing, lifeguarding and making up skits with my campers. But fortunatly, when I get the chance I drive down those long country roads for a long weekend at CTS.
And one of the best weekends to spend at camp is 4th of July (more on one of my favorite holidays in next post), so right after work on Thursday, I grabbed my swimsuit and a few changes of clothing and headed down. The weekend was filled with sun and more than a few thunderstorms, floating down the Black River, catching up with old campers, and tie dying. While I can’t call Camp Taum Sauk my summer home anymore, I know that it will always hold a place in my heart and a place on my calendar when another long weekend pops up.