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Memorial Day Weekend has always been a favorite of mine. I have special memories of walking in my town’s parade through the village and ending at the cemetery where we paid tribute to fallen soldiers. Then my family would head home for a barbecue with family and friends, complete with a few rounds of croquet and horseshoes. It was the official beginning of summer and the last long weekend before the end of another school year.

Since coming to Frost Valley, Memorial Day has a new meaning for me. It’s a weekend where families come together at camp and celebrate making memories. It’s a big homecoming, where I am reunited with many of my favorite guests, and I can’t wait to getting started on planning the program. I know that old friends Sarah K. and Carolyn M.’s families will want a special table together where their families can reconnect while their children play outside the window.  Then there’s Craig S., who came to camp his entire childhood and now returns each year with his family. His daughter, who will be a Pokey camper this summer, will literally run across the field to see me for a hug. Greer G. joins us this weekend, because it’s a place where her family fits rights in, and her kids have a true sense of belonging. And all my friends in Lakeview are a special bunch. Different groups of families will reserve fire rings each night so they can have their own private gatherings.

We also have some Memorial Day families with us this weekend that come back at the end of the summer for Family Camp but book this weekend too, because they just don’t want to wait that long to come back to Frost Valley. These “lifers” made me feel right at home when I ran my very first Family Camp last summer, and I can’t wait to see them again. There are also alumni that come back this weekend with their families to share their love of camp with the next generation and relive their own camp memories. Last year I attempted to help an alumnus dig up his old time capsule from when he was a camper. I don’t think it was recovered, but I was happy to assist in the scavenger hunt.

I coordinate a lot of weekends, and my co-workers often make fun of me when I call too many things my “favorite,” but this really is my all-time favorite weekend. The Memorial Day families have become an extension of my own family here, and they have helped make this weekend continue to be so incredibly special for me. I especially enjoy seeing the reunions that the families have with each other. Lifelong friendships have been made on this weekend.

 

If you’re looking for a great way to disconnect from technology and reconnect with your family, Memorial Day Weekend is definitely for you! With a program chock full of fun, including our annual Family Field Day and a variety of High Ropes elements, there’s something for everyone. I hope you’ll join us in one of my favorite Frost Valley traditions and look forward to seeing you soon!

Ashley Ritzheimer

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Ashley Ritzheimer

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