Editor’s note: Share what you love about your part of the Adirondacks. What makes it special? Send your “The Place I Live” commentary to Melissa Hart: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Place I Live: Silver Lake Camp/Hawkeye
I have loved the Adirondacks since I was a camper at Silver Lake Camp in Hawkeye, NY in the 1960s. Though to be honest, I didn’t know how much I loved it until I realized at age 15 that unless I applied to be a CIT ( Counselor in Training), I couldn’t come back – I would be too old.
So maybe for the first time in my life, I really thought about what mattered to me.
And this is what I learned: I loved climbing the mountains, I loved the cold lake water, I loved the quiet (I grew up in New York City), I even loved what we ate when we reached the summit – triscuits, an orange, a slab of American cheese, a melting Hershey bar. And no water – we carried no water. No hiking boots – sneakers, usually wet after falling in a brook. Eventually I wore work boots. Things were different then but I loved it. I grew stronger and more nimble and more aware of the woods, the water, the sky, the rocks, the need for caution, the glorious joyful shout when I reached the top! I loved all this and much more.
I could go on and on but suffice to say, I did become a CIT and then a counselor and, years later, a 46er. Most importantly, all my children love the Adirondacks too. I am deeply grateful to the late Betty Hicks and Hazel Kinzly, owners of Silver Lake Camp, for giving me this gift of time and place to grow up.
Thanks for this opportunity to reminisce.
— Ruth Gais
Images courtesy of the Adirondack Experience library: https://adirondack.pastperfectonline.com/library/9021F1B2-91C0-4F36-91BD-860381201562
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