Friday, June 21, 2013

Camp Goodtimes West 2013

Today, I had the privilege of returning to Vashon Island and Camp Goodtimes West to help prepare the Arts & Crafts cabin for the June session, which begins this weekend. It is always a good experience to help at camp (and a blast to help with Arts & Crafts) because the staff is AWESOME. We have a lot of laughs and chat away as we move, prepare and organize things, getting the supplies in order for the kids to work on craft projects during their week at camp. We opened boxes of brand-new paint, duct tape and other craft materials (I'm not going to reveal what projects are in store, but it looks like there will be a tremendous amount of fun).

Camp names are important. No one on staff uses their real name at camp; everyone gets to choose a camp name, based upon something they enjoy or love, or a nickname that they have. Mine is "Truffle," because I'm part French, and I love both chocolate truffles and the mushroom-type. Some other names of camp staff are Pineapple, Rocksie, Beef, Skipper, Loop, Lovey, Puck, Panda, Doppler, Athena, Ruby and more. It's entertaining to ask and learn why each one chose that name.
Rocksie made a new name tag for me last year, and I added a bit of "bling" to it
Because names are important, name tags are also important, so that campers can easily identify staff and other campers, and get to know them. We all wear name tags all of the time, volunteers, staff and campers. People have a great time designing their name tags, often getting more elaborate over time, and new ones are available each year. Today, we prep-painted wooden name tags and cut lengths of ribbon for each one, so they can be worn around the neck.

I had time to go down to the beach for a few minutes - the beach from which we rowed out to scatter Katie's ashes, at her request. It was the first time I'd been there since we did it. It is a beautiful place.
There are various boats and a boat shed on the beach.
 On the side of the shed, this message is painted:
Isn't that a perfect message for a camp to display?

I'm thankful that our children had the privilege to attend and be blessed by this wonderful place. It made a huge positive difference in Katie's life. If you would like to know more about Camp Goodtimes West, would like to volunteer or offer support (especially needed, now that the American Cancer Society has announced that it will withdraw its financial support of children's camps), please go to

One more thing: I hope that you all had a happy Father's Day!
We enjoyed Father's Day dinner at my parents' house.
David was at work all day; we celebrated as best we could without him.


Anonymous said...

So glad you were able to be there. I look forward to hearing about it hopefully next week.

Much love,

Karen said...

I love that you're still involved there, Karen. I think it says a lot about your courage, your generosity, your resilience, and your passion for a cure. You are a pretty amazing lady.

Robin Gaphni said...

What a special place and how wonderful that you continue to volunteer there, Karen. It sounds like it's a gift for everyone involved (love the Khalil Gibran quote!)

Busy Bee Suz said...

That is a wonderful place full of sweet memories for you. Your camp name is so sweet. I was given a camp name (adult girl scout training camp) They called me pyro because I could not leave the fire alone!
I DO love that quote; so perfect.