It is always such a sweet time, the beginning of summer. So much anticipation and freshness all around.
Procter was especially geared up for another great camping season. We have a wonderful group of young adults who are giving service by being a camp counselor at Procter this summer. They learned a lot of new things in staff training and stretched their comfort zones with an overnight in the woods in preparation for being brave souls when the campers are here. For many this is their first night sleeping outside. It is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Nothing like a meal cooked over the fire. Hunger is real out there and dinner always tastes so good when you prep and cook it yourself!
The maintenance crew was busy building platforms for our tents and putting a tin roof over the cooking and dining area. This outdoor adventure area was once a thriving part of our camp program. Last year we received donations of tents and other equipment from churches, so we are very grateful for those donations to help bring this program back to life.
We also received a very generous donation this spring from a camp family that wanted to honor their grandmother who had died. This donation was designated to build a hammock village. We picked a lovely spot up on the hill, under the shade of beautiful trees with the perfect view of the sunsets that are legendary at Procter. The breeze blows through the trees and this is the perfect place for FOB – our rest period. The maintenance team did a great job planning and building the village. I hope you have a chance to experience it.
We offered two specialty camps that we are very excited about and proud of. Sagrada Familia is a family camp that was started two years ago by the Rev. Maggie Foote with the community from the Latino Ministry Center, now known as Espirtú Santo. The first summer we had 14 participants, the second summer we had 59 and this summer we expected over 100. The camp is geared towards Spanish-speaking families, but in keeping with becoming Beloved Community, other non-Spanish speaking folks came to this family camp to celebrate our beloved community here at Procter.
Camp RISE is a camp for children who have a lost a loved one to drug use. Last summer was the first summer that we offered this camp. We served a small number of children but the impact that week had on those kids was huge. One of the teenage boys said through tears at the closing campfire that this was the first place that he had come where everyone was nice to him and no one made fun of him. He lost his mother to a drug overdose; his dad is a long distance trucker and he is being raised by his grandmother. An aunt called to inquire about the camp and said that the nieces and nephews that she sent to Camp RISE were “thriving when they got home last year, and they couldn’t wait to come back this year.”
The Procter Store opened this spring in downtown London. It is a co-op with over 15 vendors in the store with us. You can get any cut of chicken, pork, beef, or lamb from Procter and our neighbors the Furbee’s, Food Raised Right, meat and eggs. We also have Somerford Gardens with lots of great veggies, a gluten free baker, local honey and maple syrup. There are wonderful artisans who have jewelry, quilted pieces, pottery, photos and other art mediums. The goal of the store is to provide fresh food in an area of town that does not have access to a grocery store nearby. The first month exceeded our expectations and we look forward to continued growth. Please stop by and see us if you are in London – it is just a ten-minute drive from Procter. The Procter Store is open Thursday and Friday from 12 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We hope to see you soon. Come and enjoy the peace that is Procter.