The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I Heart Brighton

Continuing on in the report of my many gatherings, I must write a separate blog entry for beloved Brighton Camp.  I was lucky enough to attend camp as a 12 and 13 year old girl, not really knowing my family histroy with the place.  Of course I loved it. In 1990, the camp got a new president - the fantastic Floss Waltman.  Well, she had been a counselor there in 1960 and guess what.  So had my mom.  So Floss called mom to be on the committee with her, and that summer I applied to work in the kitchen as a kd.  I chose my first ever camp name.  Gecko.  That name morphed into "Geek" over the next couple of summers, which was fine with me.  I still don't know why I chose that name, but I'm fond of it.  I had a wonderful summer in the kitchen and the next summer, after I had graduated from high school I returned to work in the craft shack, which was equally wonderful.  A few years later I had returned from a mission and wasn't really sure what to do with my summer.  I got a call from Floss, asking me to apply to be the director of the camp.  I was so thrilled, even though I had skipped the step of being a counselor, which I've always been sorry about.  But I accepted the offer.  I found out that my assistant director was named Echo.  Not only had I never really known why I picked the name Gecko, I also knew that I did NOT want us to be Gecko and Echo.  So I changed my name.  I picked Quimby, named after Ramona Quimby, the heroine of my favorite series of children's books by Beverly Cleary.  It fit me much better.  And I had another wonderful, though very challenging summer as the director.

This summer was the 90th anniversary of Brighton LDS Girls Camp.  Some of the staff members from my 1991 year decided to gather together for dinner the week before the reunion.  I think only about 10 of us made it, but it was such a high to get together.  It's been 20 whole years, which seems unbelievable, but everyone looks so much the same and is doing such neat things with their lives.  We've all had troubles and triumphs, and it was an absolute joy to gather together and share our histories.  I love that group.

 Back Row: Oreo, Spice, Bambi, Jabba, Indy, Mush and Bonsai
Front Row: Willow, Gecko, EweHoo and Cherokee

Then over the weekend was the big shin-dig up at camp.  Sadly our Saturday was already totally full, so I couldn't go up on the busy day when I would have seen so many more people from my years.  But on Sunday after church my daughters and I picked up my mom (Casey as she is known up at Brighton) and we drove up.  I'm telling you, just pulling into the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon and smelling the piney air fills me with a sense of well-being and happiness.  And suddenly I have the uncontrollable urge to sing.  Cant keep those camp songs out of my head!  It was a total thrill to walk all over camp, taking pictures of all the places I painted my name (wherever you live up at camp you get to paint your name), being flooded with memories. 

 Quimby and the next Gecko

 Floss, Casey and Apple

 Checking out my signature in Wildernest, home of the directors

 Above is my name in Cookie Jar, the home of the kd's, and below is my slightly over-the-top signature in The Outback, home of the craft specialists.

 The path to the cabins, affectionately known as Hernia Hill - doesn't look too bad from here

Me with 1997's contribution to camp - the record of our Courageous adventure, a story for another day

Bitty was ecstatic to be there.  She was feeling the love and was bubbling over with enthusiasm about hiking and singing and staying in cabins and even insisted that I call her Gecko for the rest of the day.  It was something else to have three generations of past and future campers there:

Well, I'm out of explatives.  I don't know what else I can say to share the fact that Brighton is the most wonderful place on earth.  You'll just have to go there yourself.  Also, you should read this article.


Gina said...

This sounds so familar! Bryon grew up at Scout Camp. His dad has directed Camps since before Bryon was born and Bryon went to camp for the first time at the ripe 'ol age of two weeks. We are headed to camp this weekend for alumni weekend. Camp gets a big portion of the credit for who my husband turned out to be. Yay for camp! I'm so glad you had camp in your life too. P. S. Your post about the Gore's visit made me miss my wonderful Salt Lake friends so much.

jefferies said...

OOOOOO...Gecko/Quimby! You know I was a camper in 1991 and just hearing the staff names brings back my giddy camper enthusiasm! :-) I didn't know I still had that inside of me!
Anyway...I'm glad it was SO good. I'm sad I missed it. I WILL NOT MISS the next reunion!!!!!!
Oh...and don't you think we should have a 1997 dinner sometime...when I'm in town {of course}? That sounds great!

stephgardner said...

Wow I was just catching up on your activities - you have been so busy, I'm amazed! I'm sorry to hear about the burn, hope it is all better now. Glad you've been able to reconnect with friends and family, sounds great (especially to one who's got a little cabin fever after 1 month of endless newborn care!)

Misty said...

I am so sending Haley in a couple of years. Can't wait. :)

Margaret said...

Here, here! Sure do adore that place!

Swimmingmom said...

Fun Rachel! Sp lucky you have that there! Miss you guys. You look fantastic!!!!

Carrie said...

I loved Brighton! I am pretty sure that my counselor the one year I went was Echo. I could be wrong, but that sounds right. Do you know if her last name is Swensen?
I only remember that because I went to school at bryant with her little brother. -I think-. I could be mixed up,