Thinking today of the 10 years I spent atop Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Ala., at Camp Skyline Ranch. My parents used to drop me and my little sister Janna there every July for an entire month while they headed off on one golf adventure after another. Jan and I were oblivious to their plot; all we knew was that July meant camp and that was the best month of the year. Skyline and Mentone were my summers and both are forever, wonderfully etched into my memories. To quote an old friend, Barbara Ballin Newman, “I’m convinced…Camp Skyline Ranch in the 1970’s was the happiest place on earth.”
When Arielle turned 6, we carted her off to Mentone so she could experience the camp life–this time at Saddle Rock Camp for Girls, originally built in 1926 as Cloudmont Camp for Boys. We wanted Arielle to be with my former camp director, Marty Griffin, who by then owned the 80-acre Saddle Rock along the meandering Little River. Our girl camped there happily each summer until she was 12.
For all you parents sending your own kids off to camp this summer, writer Garrison Keillor offers this parent’s prayer, published in the Chicago Tribune on June 30, 2010: http://bit.ly/dq06dO
Here’s to all our summer camp memories.