The last few weeks have been brutal here in Nebraska. The other morning it was -27 when I got up and took my dog Caspian out for his morning walk. You should know that Caspian is a Great Pyrenees (or a polar bear as the campers like to say) and is about 115 pounds of fur. The first thing he did was roll in the snow, and he did it two more times on our walk. He is built for this weather.
I am not.
I have to get layered up like the Michelin man (or like I’m participating in a challenge at camp to see how many layers of clothes you can wear at once) in order to live through the morning excursion. On our walks as I stand (mustering patience) as Caspian enjoys a roll in the cold snow, I am reminded of some lines from “The Cremation of Sam McGee”:
On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.
"The Cremation of Sam McGee" is a poem I have often heard recited around a campfire, I’ve even told it myself a few times. While the words are about gold prospectors mushing through the cold night of a Yukon winter, I always think of summer camp. Sitting around a fire, watching the flames lick through wooden logs while the smoke rises to the sky as the storyteller’s words fill the air, painting the picture of a far off frozen tundra.
Standing on the street in a frozen tundra pulled from the stories and dropped right onto our day to day, I think of summer. With my lashes froze and the cold winds driving through me I think about climbing towers and cookouts, canoeing and campfires.
Because soon the warmer weather will be here. I’ll shed my layers, Caspian will shed his coat (have I mentioned how much fur he has?), and it will be time for camp. Kids will once again roam these hills making friends, creating memories, and maybe losing a towel or two.
I couldn't be more excited.
Outdoor Explore Days: 9am-5pm Day Camps at Kitaki - March 20th or March 27th!
Summer Camp: Get registered for Overnight Camp at Kitaki!