Saturday, August 1, 2015

Traditional Maine Summer Outing

Here in Maine, there's this thing called "camp." Basically, if you live here long enough (or if you're from out of state but close enough) you have a cottage somewhere. They are not typically not 4-season homes, but sometimes they are. The best ones are on a lake somewhere -- there is no shortage of lakes here in Maine -- and traditional camps are not McMansions (or even McCabins). They are small homes, furnished with hand-me-down furniture. They are rustic, but there's electricity and running water, and besides: the point is to be outside.

One of the partners at my law firm has a camp not too far from where we live. It has been in his family since the mid-1980s, and sits right on a lake. They host a mostly-annual* company outing every-ish summer, and this year's outing was yesterday.

Mick couldn't attend, but the kids and I went. Here are some of the cell phone snapshots I captured.

We don't have a camp (yet), but Mick has wanted one since forever. If this is what summer is like, and the memories our kids will make, I am all in. Where do I sign?


My brave girl didn't take long to get comfortable enough to jump from the back of the pontoon boat!

...again and again!

The kids had never been in a kayak before in their lives. They mastered it. WHM kayaked on his own for well over an hour.

The water was clear and warm and shallow for a good bit. The lake's topology is basically shallow around the perimeter for about 100 feet (well, give-or-take) into the center, and then drops off in the middle like a canyon. It's a giant lake, and the shallow perimeter makes for ample safe swimming areas that don't ever get old.

Clear across from "our" camp is a private beach owned by an elderly lady. For years, it has been marked on a giant boulder "Keep off Beach," but historically she hasn't policed it except for rowdy groups. We let the kids play for a few minutes and then headed to the middle for jumping.

* in three summers of the firm's existence, there have been two summer outings. Last summer we didn't have one because schedules got too crazy.