Towering Pines Blog

Tuesday, July 3rd: Heating up for the 4th

Posted by on July 4, 2012

(posted by Jonathan)

Well, the summer is in full swing, and so is the heat! I don’t hear the guys at instructional swim complaining, though! The lake is warmer than ever. Monday was hot and humid, but our discomfort was rewarded with a bonus thunderstorm overnight. We were all glad that the rain didn’t interrupt our activities during the day. Instead, the pattering on the rooftops lulled us to sleep and cooled things off a bit! I know I was grateful for it. We’re down to a balmy 83 degrees F now. Perfect for watching the sunset on Lake Nokomis…

Tomorrow is the big 4th of July campfire and everyone is excited to share it with our sister camp: Woodland. In honor of the occasion TP alumnus J.B. Terry wanted to share some of his camp memories with you all. Mr. Terry and the author were in cabins 4-7 together, and I still consider him one of my dearest friends. I’m sure you can see why!

There are some things I’ll always associate with camp. This 4th of July, I’m taken back to some of my favorite memories with this holiday, many of which are sitting at the campfire grounds on lake Nokomis, watching the sunset reflect on the lake and those UNFORGETTABLE skits.

The 4th of July campfire was a really special time for me as a Towering Pines camper — after all, it was the first time the Woodland girls came for a visit! It’s funny to think back on the effort spent in front of the mirror getting ready, the excessive use of cologne amidst the CIT’s, and the very stylish TP t-shirts we were asked to wear. Even more memorable and tangible, perhaps, is the sense of community and belonging that came on those summer nights, sitting on the assembly grounds, watching the fireworks explode and shimmer down over the lake and tall pines in the distance. “Magical” doesn’t begin to describe it. Seventeen years after my first 4th of July campfire on Nokomis, I still get goosebumps thinking of those powerful memories. 

Little did I know at the time that the sense of unity and connection with my cabin group is one that would follow me for years to come. The skills and challenges we faced as a group through the 4th of July games, Pirate Day, and Explorers North would turn out to be skills I use every day with my team in my clinic and on my unit as a physician. And what came of those friends singing Cat Stevens’s “Wild World” by guitar in front of the fire, the boys doing the “toilet paper skit,” and those girls who lead the chant about their “camp spirit” (YEAH, YEAH!!)? These individuals are in some of my best and most enduring friendships today. We recently came together again near Chicago to celebrate the wedding of one of my counselors, who turned out to be a great friend and mentor of mine moving forward. Yes, camp is about the experience and the lessons, but for me, it’s also really about the community, the team, and the successes we continue to share as adults. 

– Jonathan “JB” Terry, DO

Towering Pines 1995 – Current (I like to think)

That’s all for today, keep an eye out for our account of tomorrows 4th of July festivities!