Special thanks to Jillian Mallis, Lodge ’04, for letting us share her beautiful words about Pinecliffe.
Jillian, waiting for the bus on her first day of camp, 20 years ago.
“Where is your home-away-from-away? Maybe its a small log cabin in the woods in Estes Park Colorado, or its lake house in the Berkshires, or maybe its a tent in your own backyard where your Dad taught you how to build a fire and pitch a tent. Mine’s in Harrison, Maine, tucked away in the pines, down a dirt road, on a lake. I never write posts, I never feel the need or feel like I have anything to say, but when it comes to Pinecliffe the words flow freely and effortlessly.
Pinecliffe is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year. I could not be more honored to be a part of a lineage that spans that length of time and includes many strong, resilient, life-loving, friend-loving, kind, courageous, and bold women. Pinecliffe had so much to do with why we are that way.
This year it will have been 20 years since I first stepped foot off the bus from Boston and onto hollowed, sacred ground.
I’d like to say I remember everything about that first day, but 20 years is a long time. I can say that I will never forget the sound of crunching gravel as the older girls walked past your bunk at night after Taps shush-ing each other and giggling. I will never forget the sound of young girls singing their way into, and through, summer. It is not often that we get these moments as adults. Very rarely do we have everyone around us believing, and feeling the same deep sensations that we are. Now more than ever, these memories of camaraderie and togetherness are important, and it’s important for the future women of the world to feel this way at some point in their lives.
We all get older and time goes by. We all have new memories being made every day. But the one place I ALWAYS look back on and cherish, is Pinecliffe. Sitting on the basketball court alone or with a few girls, staring out at Harrison—the colors blending orange and red with green and brown coming to a point at the other end of Crystal Lake. There is no scene more ingrained in my mind. And I often picture it more than the bunks or the Lodge or the silver shed, because I know it will never change and has been that way for the past 100 years and will be that way for the next 100 years. It will never leave my heart and I feel so blessed to be able to have that. See you in August my dearest friend."
Jodi Seigel Sward, an alumna, a current camp mom, wrote a beautiful blog post about camp for The Maine Camp Experience. Her wonderful words describe the importance of camp to her and her family, as well as camp to all of us. We hope you enjoy!
At our final campfire this summer, one of our wonderful lodgers, Alex Lehman, wrote and delivered a beautiful speech. She was kind enough to share her words with all of us, and allow us to share her words with all of you. She brilliantly and beautifully captured the true meaning of Pinecliffe in her speech that night. Thank you, Alex Lehman, for your words and for everything you and the Lodge of 16 have given to Camp Pinecliffe.
“Camp is a gift.” By Alex Lehman – Lodge 2016
“Camp is a gift.” Those are the four words my mother imparted upon me as I – a nervous, unwilling 9 year old – boarded a bus that would soon transport me to an unfamiliar location. Little did I know that 7 years later, my mom’s words would be the truest statement I’ve ever heard.
Since Day 1, Pinecliffe has been the gift that keeps on giving. Every day it offers new opportunities and lessons. Campers are encouraged to leave their comfort zone in the pursuit of growth and are instilled with an adventurous spirit. Camp teaches values and virtues that shape and inform us for the rest of our lives. Pinecliffe provides the stepping-stones for girls to become young women. It’s been extraordinary to watch as I’ve grown up alongside my fellow Lodge sisters and seen them develop through Pinecliffe’s teachings.
The summer of 2016 was full of gifts. There was warm weather, and even warmer smiles. Every girl dedicated herself whole-heartedly to the brown and blue. The staff world incredibly hard to keep camp both fun and functional. And, as always, the directors sustained the magic of Pinecliffe.
This summer, the Pinecliffe family grew. Bonds of lifelong friendship and sisterhood were formed. Memories were made, ones that will be held dear forever. The gift that was summer ’16 will be cherished throughout the year, and for the rest of our lives, because Pinecliffe is a lifelong gift. There is no expiration date. As a younger camper, Pinecliffe opens its arms to embrace and accept you. As you journey through adolescence, CP is there to help raise you up and shape you. As a Lodger, it becomes your duty to give back to the place that has given you so much. On behalf of the entire Lodge ’16, we can never repay Pinecliffe for all of the gifts it has given us, but we hope we helped continue the tradition and magic of CP.
As the Lodge, Pinecliffe has impacted us profoundly. And although it’s unbelievably difficult to leave such a special place and such wonderful people, we know that Pinecliffe will never truly leave us.
Camp Pinecliffe, thank you for this gift.
Costumes at camp are always fun to wear! I know the campers will love an evening activity or special event if it allows them to dress-up and wear anything out of the ordinary. Anywhere from a big camp wide activity like Dutch Auction or Let’s Make a Deal, to bunk skits for our Juniors, a dress-up event is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It allows our girls to step out of their comfort zone, reinvent themselves, and become someone or something completely different, even if it’s just for the one night. Now that Halloween is right around the corner, I can only imagine how much all of our campers must love this dress up holiday. We wanted to wish all of our campers a happy (and safe!) Halloween!
This week, leading up to Halloween, we’ll be having a costume contest on Instagram and Twitter. Simply tag us on Instagram (camppinecliffeoffical) or Twitter (CampPinecliffe) and you’ll be entered into this contest to win a prize!
We’re looking forward to seeing all of your amazing and creative costumes.
We hope you love the new website as much as we do! It’s a great way to connect you to camp. Whether you’re a camper, staff member, parent, alumna, or a future member of the Pinecliffe family, this website will keep you updated on all things Camp Pinecliffe. So, continue to check out the blog, follow us on Twitter and Instagram (yes, we have both Twitter and Instagram!), find us (and like us!) on Facebook, and join our alumnae network, all of which is sure to keep you involved in the Pinecliffe family!