It’s a small world, especially if you were ever a camper at Camp Longhorn in Burnet, Texas. I attended CLH from 1970-1976, and still get misty-eyed when something triggers a fond camp memory. Longhorn, in its traditional and often corny way, instilled values and habits that remain with me today. I was fortunate to send my children to camp, further solidifying its importance in my life.
Little did I know when I moved to RVA in 1992, two women who would become dear friends and part of The Gracious Posse, jBr and sSn, attended Camp Longhorn also. We didn’t know each other then, but I knew there was something special about them when we met. Try to imagine the three of us when we discovered we were Longhorn Girls.
But they aren’t the only RVA ties to CLH: former Richmonder dJb was a counselor when I was there, and kMg‘s mother-in-law was a camper in the 50’s. Longhorn draws campers from all over the U.S., so it’s not uncommon to be running through an airport or driving down a highway and see a camp t-shirt or trailer hitch cover a long way from the Texas Hill Country.
Founded in 1939 by Tex Roberson on Inks Lake, it began as a camp for boys, and the girls’ camp started in 1950. jBr‘s father was a camper in the early days, making her camp royalty, and her sons are 3rd generation legacies. sSn and I sent our children to camp during the same term, so we experienced surreal moments at Visitors’ Day, seeing our families walk the bank of the lake, watch activities, visit the cabins and hear the same camp songs we used to sing.
We are particularly proud of jBr, who will receive the prestigious ATTAWAYTOGO Award, given annually to an outstanding alumni, this weekend at Mini-Camp. The LUMNews which announced the award says,
Camp Longhorn is so proud of Jennifer! She represents all the happiness, character and heart of a truly special Longhorn Gal!
Had I known sSn and jBr in our camping days, we would have kept in touch the old-fashioned way: the U.S. mail. I recall the thrill of ripping open letters from favorite campers Jackie and Theresa and laughing at their hilarious news and funny observations. This was our Facebook back in the day:
Each fall I anxiously awaited the delivery of my annual, which I studied the rest of the year until I could return to camp. Today of course my children communicate with fellow campers and counselors as if they were in the same town or school. How I envy their connectivity with camp friends, but then again maybe the separation and distance made everything more magical for me.
Summer camp is not for every child, but those idyllic days of swimming, sailing, horse-back riding, campfires, camp myths and traditions are as much a part of me as my DNA. I’m grateful to have experienced Camp Longhorn, and to be able to share it with friends and family today.
Before I close, here are a few images from camp I know some of you will love to see.
and my personal favorite
August 16, 2013