Dear Treetops Community,
February is the sweet spot of winter—the yearning for warmth and green grass hasn’t yet overpowered the excitement of big snowstorms and cross-country skiing opportunities. Skiing offers a different kind of relationship with the property, and I’ve been enjoying getting out as often as I can. I can quickly access the deep woods of our campus, where sounds are muffled by the heavy blanket of snow and my tracks, as I’m gliding along, seem to be the only ones. However, when I stop for a moment to pause and to take in the feeling of the woods in winter, I notice the sheer abundance of other tracks and signs of life around me. Though it’s quiet and I feel alone out there, these tracks are a comforting reminder of the diversity of species I share this land with. In some ways this feels like a metaphor for this past year for me—feelings of isolation and disconnection, punctuated by heartening reminders that the love, support, and commitment of the Treetops community persists. Just when the woods seem abandoned, the silence almost deafening, and the solitude expansive, I come upon a fresh set of tracks of a snowshoe hare, a wild turkey, or even another set of ski tracks—all signs that I’m not alone.
In a typical year, February signifies the perfect time to bring the community together again as we gather for the Treetops Skating Reunion. Of course, this year we won’t have that. Without the physical closeness of friends reunited and animated laughter as camp stories are shared, we just have to trust that our community sustains. Usually, I would have loaded my car trunk up with a projector for the slideshow and a giant box of cookies. They are always chocolate chip cookies; nothing too special about them, except that they are the same cookies enjoyed after each square dance at Camp, so they serve as a reminder of summertime. Chocolate chip cookies are the ultimate comfort food, certainly when enjoyed after an evening of do-si-dos or at the skating rink reconnecting with friends, but maybe even more so mid-winter, warm out of the oven, with family as you share thoughts about Camp: friendships made and mountains climbed, disappointment of a summer missed, and excitement of another to come. Cookies might just be the sign that we all need to remind ourselves that we are indeed still connected despite it all.
So here’s a recipe for our much-loved square dance cookie, our reunion cookie, our eating-at-home-sharing-memories cookie. I hope it brings comfort and the reminder of community into your home.
We just received exciting news. New York State’s governor announced that overnight camps can open this summer! With guidance from the state, we will continue to work on protocols for ensuring the health and safety of all campers and counselors. We will update you as we receive more information.