Posted February 4th, 2014
During the gray days of winter, campsickness can sink into your bones. Sometimes the only remedy is to fully immerse yourself into a camp memory. Below is an essay written by Camp’s co-founder, Harry E. Brown. It is easy to picture HEB sitting by a window on a gray February day reflecting on a wonderful break from the world, that is, a Brown Ledge summer. Maybe penning this essay eased HEB’s camp sickness for a few weeks. Maybe reading it, will ease yours.
108 days until first session (106 days until the JCs arrive)
Our eight weeks of camp life give us an opportunity to be free from all the complications and mental strain in the outside world, our homes and social lives. And we begin to realize how little we can get along with. We are free of the whole mass of social gatherings and manipulations. And we reduce our society to the simplest possible form. For example, our dress becomes simple and purposeful, without the vanity of our normal dress. And our shelter is bare and stark, without all the decorative distractions we think necessary during the winter. But the greatest burden we shed is hypocrisy, for with our simple society, we have nothing to gain or lose by speaking our minds. Flattery and strained politeness have no purpose here, each of us acts more as we really are than is possible in our complicated winter social lives. And we are all judged, not for our social position, connections or lineage, but for our individual values. We have nothing to depend upon but ourselves.
Thus, Camp Life teaches us how little we can get along with and what extraordinary spiritual freedom and peace, such simplification can bring.
We collect material things for beauty, but aren’t our simple cabins more beautiful and beautiful in more sense than any crystal chandelier? The wind and sun and smell of pine blows through them, and cobwebs soften the hard lines of rafters.
Our course, the simplification of outward life that I have talked about is not the major object of camp life, but it is a technique of living which makes it easier to simplify our inner lives, and to make peace between the outward person and the inner person.
Written by Harry E. Brown
Founder, Brown Ledge Camp
Circa early 1950s – article in Winter Ledger
Copyright: Brown Ledge Foundation