There’s something surreal about Forest Lake. It is magical- the way the water stills and moves with the wind, the way the sun dances lazy ballets on the surface, and the way the mossy trees and lily pads around you create a makeshift kingdom. And I could go on and on about Lookout Mountain. Lookout was practically created for camp, with ridges to sit on, views to enjoy, and wild blueberries that satisfy your deepest hungers. The short, easy, and muddy hike brings you to an oasis from all the buzz and beeps and booms of the outside world.
I don’t think there’s a better phrase to describe Forest Lake Camp then an oasis from the outside world.
FLC is almost like a secret society, a hand-constructed, carefully-planned, and delicately-monitored community separate from civilization. Not to say that the camp isn’t civilized, of course. In some ways, it’s more civilized than Chicago or New York will ever be. Everyone at the camp lets go of everything and turns to nature, to childhood and trees and tradition. This connects everyone in a profound way that phones and computers cannot. It makes people happy; it’s impossible for the camp not to make someone happy. This positive energy spreads around all of camp like wildfire.
This happiness fire spreads around the cabins too; cabin life is an experience that you can’t find anywhere else. It balances purposeful rules and easy-going fun in a way that home life can’t. The cabins function like office buildings; everyone does their chores and shares their packages and co-exists happily. It’s insane how quickly a group of diverse girls turn into a temporary family; we called one of our counselor’s “Mom” after a few days, and sat on each other’s beds like they belonged to everyone. Some of my fondest memories at the camp weren’t of sitting in the dining hall or doing an activity, (don’t get me wrong, those moments were amazing) but of sitting on my friend’s beds, writing letters and reading books while the outside world was drenched in rain.
In short, I’m thankful for FLC because it gives you a break. It’s a place where you can resign to nature and good times and gorgeous lakes. Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s boating, riflery, arts and crafts, ultimate frisbee, or horseback riding, you’re happy and free. I’m incredibly grateful and incredibly lucky to be able to paddle board on the calm, blue waters of Forest Lake, to be apart of the magic of Lookout and Cabin Three.
– Tess Wayland, 1st session Camper