Summer camp is coming already . . . can you smell the trees and the rocks in the air?  Floating above the auto exhaust?  Can you feel the sun on the back of your neck.  Can you hear the wind through the trees?  And feel the river so cold it takes your breath away?  And it’s only up to your knees?  Can you hear the thump of the paddle against the side of the canoe?


Can you smell the burnt propellant from the rocket you’ve just put into the air?  Are your fingers still sticky from the glue you used to repair the fin from the last rough landing?  And how many of your friends are there that generate their own hydrogen for their weather balloons so they can predict their landing site?


Don’t you love the way the campfire toasts your face even from this far back?  And doesn’t a good book read even better with a campfire crackling in the background?  And aren’t some songs too much fun not to sing when you get back to town?  And is your tum-tum still warm from that foil-wrapped potato you just pulled out of the coals?


Can you hear the scream of the red-tail hawks hunting that clearing at the foot of the hill?

Can you hear the owls hunting that same spot in the moonlight?  And don’t you love the sight of the stars through the tipi smoke flap?


We don’t yet have photos of laughing kids paddling down the Elk River or Sugar Creek.  This is our opening season.  We don’t have videos of boys galloping across a flying field chasing their rockets as the drift back under bright parachutes. 


What we do have is sixty years of being a Boy Scout locked in the very marrow of our bones.  And more than forty years of being a daddy and father to four boys and three girls who now have kids of their own.  And nigh on twenty years as a high school teacher firing up kids with Shakespeare and architecture and engineering and robots.


And a dream.  On forty-five acres of solid trees just south of Joplin, Missouri.  Lord, but it’s pretty up there, a day from Dallas.  We have a camp bus (van); and there are some decent hotels up that far north of the Red River if you’d prefer to drive.


Go to the camp website:, and get the details.