By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Do you ever miss those summer camp days? The ones filled with laughter after a long day at the beach or doing activities? What about the regularly scheduled camp crafts that people bring home in bulk at the end of each season?
For many, that summer camp has been at Hale Reservation in Westwood, a site that has been associated with thousands of childhood summers for decades.
On Saturday, August 21, seniors were invited to visit Hale for a camp day of their own - and to reminisce over childhood memories.
The hot day began with campers meeting at the picnic tables at the parking lot. After some quick introductions, attendees took a golf cart ride, driven by the counselors, to the beach. “We’re going to senior camp,” cheered one of the attendees during the ride. Once there, "campers" were delighted at the sight of shining water and soft sand. Seniors were welcomed to set up blankets and chairs. Some used the time to enjoy lunches they brought from home, while others made their way onto the dock to dip their feet in the water.
Friends Janet Naughton and Mary Gorman were excited to see each other during the camp day. The two have been friends since childhood and grew up together in Roslindale. They’re always looking for things to do to catch up with one another. “We’re 60 and we’re supposed to be more adventurous! This is a fun thing to do,” said Naughton with a laugh.
“It’s a fun thing to do and an excuse to be together outside, safely,” added Gorman.
Following July’s rainy weather, those in attendance were ecstatic to have a sunny day with blue skies. “Tomorrow’s going to be a hurricane, but today’s a beautiful day. You take them when they come,” said Gorman. “It’s so nice here, so peaceful. Kind of makes you forget about the pandemic.”
Others were also attracted by the idea of having a camp day with other people. Couple Kevin and Nicole came to enjoy the day, as well as some of the planned activities. Both love archery and wanted to try their hand at it. For them, it was a perfect way to put a close on the summer season. “I think it’s a great way to end summer like this. It’s such a beautiful spot for the community. The weather is holding off until the big storm tonight, so that’s a positive,” said Kevin.
The rest of the day was spent trying out archery, doing crafts, and even making s’mores as a way to bring the full camp experience to area seniors.
It may have been decades since some of those in attendance last experienced a day at summer camp. Hale's special day went a long way in bringing back those treasured old memories - and a sense of normalcy, for that matter.