As we head from the winter offices to our true home in Oxford, we wanted to share a fellow Kohut family member’s journey to Kamp, and how he learned firsthand that Kamp is really a lifetime of memories, friendships, and fun.
The Kohut Family: Four Weeks and a Lifetime of Friendships
By: Dan Meade
One day in the early spring of 1978 my uncle, Paul Meade, packed his bags in Southern California and made his way to Kamp Kohut with a classmate named Dan Gibbs to spend the summer developing the basketball skills of young people at a summer camp in Maine. He must have had a blast because a year later he returned, this time with my dad, Tom. My dad taught baseball for one summer at Kohut, earning some college credits, forging some lifelong friendships and becoming a part of the Kohut family along the way – little did he know how profoundly Kamp would shape his.
Anyone who has been to Kohut for a summer knows how unforgettable the experience is. To this day Dad still talks about fond memories created with co-kounselors such as Donny Mayer, Iain Kennedy, Callum Kennedy, Scott Tripler, Lisa Tripler and Dave Baker. Dave Baker lived in Australia and helped both Uncle Paul and my dad to obtain Sports visas (Paul played basketball for the Bankstown Bruins in the Australian National Basketball League and Dad played baseball for Manly in the Sydney Baseball League). These two sporty brothers decided they liked the Australian lifestyle so much, they decided to stay. Funny to think if they had never gone to Kamp, they might never have moved to Australia!
Fast forward a few decades, and there I was in my final year of studies at Sydney University when Lisa Tripler and Dan Rapaport flew into Sydney to visit their daughter, Carly, who was studying abroad, also at Sydney Uni. Despite the stories from my dad and uncle, I really had no concept of what a summer camp was or why people went there, but after some encouragement from Carly, I decided a summer at Kohut would be at the very least a great life experience and worth a try. I could never have imagined how amazing a summer at Kohut really is! After my first summer, I knew once wasn’t enough — I had ‘drunk the Kool-Aid’ and Kamp just seemed like the state motto of Maine: “The Way Life Should Be.”
Now I am living in Maine, working in the Kohut Winter Office and looking forward to my 8th summer on the shores of Lake Thompson. I have met hundreds of people from all around the world and those friendships mean the world to me. Honestly, if you asked me what Banks Clark, Leanne Royle, Rhode Moise, Ibrahim Salha and Mark Howarth are up to these days, I don’t think I would be able to tell you specifically, but I know if I ever happened to pass by their part of the world, or they mine, we would meet with a smile and a funny story from our time together at Kamp. Together through the mud, sweat, laughter, tears, joy and challenges of a summer at Kamp, we have forged timeless bonds that will not only be a source of inspiration, but also help define us, just as it has for thousands of others who have passed through Kohut’s gates.
So here’s to “Four weeks and a lifetime of friendships” – I can’t wait to do it all over again in 2017!!