There’s no doubt that lifelong friendships are born and nurtured at camp. I often hear campers and staff members say that their very best friends in life are the ones that they make at camp. I feel the same! My camp friends are people that I visit when I’m traveling, I am teammates with, and celebrate major life events with. My son even biked across the country with his best friend from camp (you can read their article about it in the Fall 2018 Eagle). I believe that because Eagle’s Nest Camp is a safe place for people to be themselves, the friendships made are genuine and strong.

So, it’s no surprise that some Eagle’s Nest friendships also lead to marriage. In the past two years I’ve attended two weddings of counselors who met at Eagle’s Nest. What’s a little surprising to me is that there are also a number of Eagle’s Nest friendships (and marriages) that have been forged years after the participants were at Eagle’s Nest. I know of a couple of couples that never knew each other at camp or even attended the same year or session, but somehow found each other later in life. The experiences they had at camp, and the values nurtured there helped strengthen their relationship.

One special couple is Janet and Adam Guy. Janet and Adam were Session 2 campers together when he was 11 and she was 15. Adam pulled Janet’s name for Giving Day. As instructed, he spent the session secretly getting to know her and on the last night of camp presented her with a tie dye t-shirt and a hand painted heart that he made in woodworking. Many years later they reconnected and romance bloomed. When they married, the heart that Adam made for Janet was on the alter. As Janet said in a recent ABC News report,  “camp impacted how I try to live my life and how I move through the world, and I saw that Adam has similar views.”

We would love to hear about the lifelong friendships that you’ve made at camp. Please send us your stories! And if you haven’t been in touch with your camp friends lately, reach out! I know you’ll end up laughing, smiling and telling stories for hours!

By Paige Lester-Niles