The Magic of Camp

Jackjack and I recently enjoyed a “Family Camp Weekend” at my childhood summer camp–Camp Gold Hollow in Nevada City, CA. We slept outside, made s’mores, and enjoyed lots of typical camp activities like canoeing, hiking, and dutch oven cooking.

The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:


The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:


The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:

We had fun with old friends and new friends. There’s much more to camp than just sleeping outside and singing around the campfire, though.

Camp is a truly magical place. Here’s why.

The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:

No electronics. There’s no cell service and electricity is hard to come by. Why play on a tiny screen when you have all of God’s creation to enjoy?

The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:

No strict timelines or schedules. There are activities scheduled all day, but you don’t have to rush from one to another like you’re late for a meeting at work. Really important events, like meals, are announced by the camp bell.

The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:

Upon arrival, each family signs up for one chore. Everybody contributes and nobody is stuck cleaning all day.

At camp, you aren’t weird, awkward, or shy. You can be your true Authentic Self. Do you snort when you laugh? That’s OK. Have a few gray hairs around the temples? Nobody cares. At camp, there’s no such thing as too fat, too skinny, too young, too old…you get the picture.

The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:

Acceptance is the norm. We met single-mom families, mom-and-dad families, and two-mom families. We especially enjoyed playing with twins whose moms had adopted EIGHT kids through the foster system. How cool is that?!?

When it’s time to eat, everybody walks into the lodge together and remains standing until we sing grace. Food is served family style, and “table talk” topics help everybody get to know their fellow diners. Everybody clears their own plate when the meal is done, and remains at the table until announcements are complete.

The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:

There are no office politics or personal agendas. Our bunkmates might have been investment bankers or they might have been baristas. Jobs and titles don’t matter when everyone is enjoying the outdoors and each others’ friendship.

The Magic of Camp Gold Hollow:

Why can’t real life be more like camp?


Flicker of the campfire, wind in the pines;
Stars in the heavens, a moon that shines.
A place where people gather, making friends of all kinds
A place where all mans’ troubles are always left behind.

Give me the light of the campfire, warm and bright!
And give me some friends to sing with, I’ll be here all night.
For love is for those who find it, I’ve found mine right here
Just you and I and the campfire and the songs we love to hear. 

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  1. says

    I LOVE my camp experience every summer! It’s a little different, as it’s all adult leaders with about 250 teenage girls, but so many of the sentiments you shared are the same. I love being crazy me at camp and not feeling weird about it. Sounds like you and Jackjack made some great memories.

    • says

      I thought of you and all the fun you have at YW camp as I was writing this! Going to camp was great for me as an (awkward, geeky, weird) kid and teen.

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