Tar Hollow 2014 was COLD! It was rainy and muddy and freezing at night in the cabins. Most of the action took place in the lodge, once the firewood dried enough to catch. There was a crowd of camp chairs around the main fireplace about 7 rows deep, most with dog-eared novels or empty hot chocolate cups underneath.
The population of camp was overwhelmingly elementary-aged this year, with older and younger siblings along for the ride. The young ones were drawn to a new feature at the group campsite, called the Ga-ga Pit, and played there all afternoon Saturday and half of Sunday too. The game looks something like a rolling dodgeball played from the knees down inside an octagonal, thigh-high corral. From the hills above, the cheering sounded like Roman crowds at the coliseum: “Ga-ga! Ga-ga! Ga-ga!”
Probably the same number of folks as always fell into the lake, but this year it was a big deal every time because of the temperatures. Second-timers Stephanie and Jason McClean and their son Liam each took a head-to-toe soaking on Saturday, and after Saturday supper when we learned of a particularly scary capsizing we opted to close up the boats for the rest of the weekend.
It was another indoor campfire this year featuring skits by talented and fearless youngsters, a long tale with a punny payoff from Peter Whitsun, an in-depth epic song about the emcee and his beard, a visit from Pepito, a belly dancing grand finale, then s’mores, popcorn, more hot chocolate and another shivering night.
Sunday was lovely and checkout was remarkably fast. This camper got misty-eyed and hummed The Circle Game on Sunday, thinking of Dick Robertson and all the stalwart Tar Hollowans who are no longer with us; remembering Tar Hollows that were cold, hot, rainy, perfect, mosquitoey or poison ivy-filled, Tar Hollow weekends defined by moments. The ones we remember from photographs, or defined by the presence or absence of a crush, the one where we roller skated everywhere, the bathing suit one, the one with the super soakers, the one we came back from college for, the one we brought our toddlers to, the one with the tshirts.
The bus departed camp at 1:30 and dropped us back at Mills Lawn with soggy luggage, tired eyes, and happy hearts.