Gather 'round the (Virtual) Campfire:
Stories from Camp Read's Past
For generations, summer after summer, scouts have been making memories at Camp Read. In 2020, the pandemic may have forced regular activities to pause, but campers from years gone by are sharing their stories here in an effort to fill in the gap. Read on to get your fix of Camp Read hijinks until we can safely fill a parade ground once more!
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What Camp Read Means to Me
Shannon Aileen Lamont, 2021 Reservation-Wide Staffer of the Year
What Camp Read Means to Me
“This camp will become your home!”
It was the summer of 2019 and Greg Roman’s words echoed across Camp Read, bounced off the mountains, and landed squarely in my memories, where they have stayed to this day. I didn’t fully believe his words -- I didn’t even see my own house as a home, so why would I trust this random, overly-energetic stranger!? Turns out his promise rang true and somehow my opinion on the matter changed... and let me tell you, that is not an easy feat. For the first time in my life, I thought that I had finally found my place.
In 2020, as we all know, camp was cancelled due to the pandemic. Like many of you, I missed my summer at Camp Read for a number of reasons, but mostly because I missed spending time with my camp family. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to return in 2021, but luckily, my plans changed and I found myself reuniting with my friends who are, in my opinion, the best camp staff around! Having made countless memories here with all of the people I’ve grown to love, I hate to break it to you, but I already know something that you don’t. You WILL become a member of this family...good luck escaping! No one ever has, but then again, no one’s ever tried.
So who am I, you might be wondering?
My name is Shannon Lamont and I’m a senior at Wamogo Regional High School, which is an agricultural school. I have two jobs, one in an animal feed warehouse and another in a kitchen. I am a part of my school's sports and extracurriculars, such as CDE’s (which are agricultural competitions). I am also a member of Troop 2019, working on completing my Eagle Scout rank. To say that I’m ‘busy’ is an understatement. After high school, I will be entering the United States Army for food services, with an end goal of becoming a dietitian officer. Now, I know this camp has nothing to do with the military; however, it sure has helped me with skills in the kitchen (even if it was a little questionable at times…). Nevertheless, it was always a memorable experience and part of this is due to the wonderful people that I had the honor of working with.
There are two people on this glorious reservation that have greatly impacted me... I owe a major thank you to both of them. John Courtney (Camp Ranger) and Kris O'connor (Head Ranger) stood by me and supported me, regardless of how full their schedules already were. And let me tell you, they were FULL schedules. Whether they know it now or not, they will be coming to my Basic graduation (shhh, don’t tell them because I haven’t even asked them yet!).
I’ve had some really loving people around me throughout my life, but before camp, I never had an adult to genuinely look up to. I truly want to make both of them proud and that will never be a feeling that I take for granted. Why? Because people never forget their heroes and I’m lucky enough to say that mine have become family to me. John Courtney and Kris O'connor helped build me up and give me the reinforcement I never knew I needed. While they didn’t do anything big or extravagant, it was every conversation, every reminder of their love and unconditional support, and every tiny act of human kindness that have made a huge impact on my life and the person I am today. For this, I can’t thank them enough... I’ll NEVER have enough words or time to give them the thanks that they deserve; luckily, they already know how much they mean to me.
In all honesty, I owe everything to this camp. For me, home was never where I grew up. My home is through the woods, in the middle of the Adirondacks, and up the mountains I’ve climbed each summer. If you’ve ever felt lost, unseen, or misunderstood, I’m happy to inform you that it’s not going to be that way for long. You’ve found your place. You’ve found your people. Welcome to Camp Read.
Shannon Aileen Lamont