If you were a camper or on staff in 1964, on this very day 48 years ago you were really looking forward to going to the Y for the Camp Fitch Reunion. Here’s the invitation you would have gotten from Halbe Brown and Peg Baldwin: Halbe Brown was the Executive Camp Director and I think Peg Baldwin was the Girls’ Camp director at that time (this would have been Halbe’s last Camper/Staff Reunion at Fitch as he became the executive director at Frost Valley right before the summer of 1965).
Especially for the staff, many of whom go to colleges all over the country, this is a really fun night. I have very vivid memories of making snowy drives from Cortland to downtown Youngstown with my friend Jason Hyde in either their family’s Chevette or our family’s Horizon (and it generally took the sum of our navigational prowess to get there before the thing was over) to see lots of good friends who I hadn’t seen since the summer. Although it was full of plenty of teen awkwardness, it was a fun part of the Christmas break which by that time had started to make us stir crazy. The question most discussed by everyone was, of course, “Are you coming back?” On the way home, we would do an over/under on whether those who thought they planned to do something else would really be back — and in most cases were happy to see them next summer.
Looking carefully at this invitation, I notice that not only was this a reunion, but also a dance! I’m glad they weren’t still doing that by the time I was on staff — with all of that social pressure I might not have showed up . . . and any girl I knew in high school who might (in a weak moment) have agreed to come with me but who wasn’t a part of the summer staff would have been so bored by all of the inside jokes, stories and lingo that she would have never gone out with me again.
This year’s reunion was (prudently!) cancelled because of a big snow that passed through the Ohio Valley all day and night of the reunion. Although I’m mostly a bystander now, its absence knocked our family’s Christmas break patterns a bit askew. Maybe next year, to make up for this year’s cancellation, we’ll host a dance at the reunion . . . for old times’ sake.