Marlys (Rogers) Mason (1981-1990, S1992-1998)

Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky

Current City: Owensboro, Kentucky

Contact Info: marlysmason@gmail.com

Cabins: Happy Hallow (81, 82), Orioles (83), Fireflies (84), Chipmunks (85), Fawns (86), Nutcracker (87), Clubhouse (88), LT (89, 90), Fawns (92), Fawns (93), Windy Lodge (94), Clubhouse (95), Windy Lodge (96), Jr. Camp (97), Sr. Camp (98)

Roles: Camper, Counselor, Head Counselor, Sailing Director, Junior Camp Admin and Senior Camp Admin

Education: Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Indiana University, National Board Certified Teacher

Occupation: Educator and Mother

Spouse: Matt

Children: Kate (age 6) and Jack (1 ½)

Where does your story with camp begin?  How were you first introduced to Camp Lake Hubert? My story starts in the womb, I guess.  I remember visiting my grandparents, (longtime director, Fred Rogers, is Marlys’s grandfather, and her grandmother is Marlys Rogers) for the summer, and our family staying in one of the cabins at CL.  I remember sailing with my mom around five or six years old, I remember visiting my cousins at CL and CLH on Visitor’s Day, and I remember walking with my grandma and her little wagon to put my male cousins in camp.  I spent weeks in the summer staying with my grandparents, so I was more familiar with Lincoln than Hubert to begin.

Did any of your family members attend or work at camp? My mom (Karen (Sinclair) Callis 1958-1962, S1966-1968) met my dad (Bob Rogers 1953-1960, S1961-1966) at camp, so both families attended.  Basically anyone with the last name Rogers, Lisa (Corchran) Hake (1981, 1984, 1986-1990, S1992-1994, 2012), and my sister, Mary Frances Callis (1992).  Our daughter, Kate Mason, will be an Intro Camper in 2014.

What are a few of your favorite memories from your days at Camp Lake Hubert? Oh goodness.  Camper memories usually involve vespers services where we shared poems and back rub circles, sitting in the green chairs just chatting with friends, and anything that involved sailing.  The Skipper Sailing Trip was such an experience for me as a camper, that when I was Sailing Director, I felt that I had arrived when I got to take my Skippers on the trip.  I also loved Firewatch and even did that as one of my LT Projects.  Bear Scare ceremonies were also such a big part of my memories and who would be chosen to tie those knots.  The tugging at the end was such a bond.

What are some of the things you learned at camp?  Favorite activities? As a camper, Sailing was my favorite.  I actually skipped other activities to sail (and somehow got away with it).  I learned strength at Sailing.  Hauling parts, boats, sails, etc. was impressive.  I learned maintenance.  I asked for a Leatherman of my own (that I still have) for Christmas when I was a staff member.  I learned to study and work hard at camp.  As a staff member, I also loved High Ropes and Riflery.  I would go shoot during Free Swims and Rest Hours to work on awards when I was a staff member.  Thank you, Wendy (Legg) Gilbertson (1984-1991, S1993-1998)!

Do you have any fun/funny travel stories about getting to camp, camp canoe trips, or traveling outside of camp with camp friends?  I did my fair share of canoe trips, because Bill would never let me out of them (even with notes from parents or doctors).  Those trips were NOT my favorite.  They took away from Sailing, I had to sleep on the ground, carry a canoe, eat food that was not yummy, etc.  I understood the bonding, but I still would have preferred not to go.  I remember being stuck in a thunder and lightning storm while canoeing; I remember a fellow camper getting lost on the Piney River Float; I remember a camper throwing up while we were in our “bed” on the skipper trip and the captain THEN telling me that hot dogs and macaroni are not easily digested.

What is your favorite camp quote, and when was it from?  My quote books from camp are full, but the one I return to almost daily is the Camp Creed.  Maybe because I can hear my grandpa saying it and each time, it puts so much into perspective.God is first.  Others are second. I am third. Such a way to live, and such a truth for camp.  The beauty of camp (God), the friendships (others)… both come before me.  And that is why camp remains so successful.

What was your favorite camp meal or dining tradition? Ice Cream sundaes on Sunday Lunch with the homemade chocolate sauce.  International Food Day was also a favorite.  And Bagel Dogs.  Who can forget Bagel Dogs!

Can you elaborate on any lasting friendships you have from camp? I have a group of five friends that I see yearly, if possible.  We send group emails and texts.  I have several close friends outside of that group, from camp, that I am in contact with as well.  I have reconnected with several camper friends via Facebook, and we also send emails to have a deeper closeness than Facebook allows.  And I have several campers that I keep up with.  One friend, that seems relatively new in the big scheme of things, was someone I remembered from my Happy Hollow years.  I was able to do Canoe Drill with her during the Alumni Weekend, and we have kept in touch since then. I love the intertwining of all of my camp days.

What did you love most about camp?  What is the biggest take-away you have from your days at Camp Lake Hubert?
 I loved the sense of freedom and belonging I had at camp, as a camper.  I loved the responsibility of daily life and the structure that remains at camp (daily schedule, capers, activities chart, etc.).  I loved the friendships that developed further each summer, so that I could miss them in the winter.  I never found the bonds outside of camp that I did in camp, either as a camper or a counselor.  I take away so many things from camp that I can’t think of the biggest. 

What are you up to now?  Tell us about your family life and interests. Playing tennis and raising Kate (6) and Jack (almost 2) while Matt is the principal at the high school we both attended, and where I used to teach.

Do you have a mentor you look up to or creed that you live by? At camp, I looked up to Suzi (Hicks) Manes (1974-1983, S1985-1990).  She could do everything at Sailing.  I had her as a counselor twice as well.  Beyond that is the major mentor, and that is my grandpa.  He still is my mentor.  Daily I think about all that he did for me and to me, and I am reminded how lucky I am to have had him in my life.  Once, when I was upset about something, he told me was “the first year/attempt is a learning experience, the second a growing experience.”  I have applied that to many experiences since then.  Another thing he once told me, when I was feeling inadequate conversing with him about religion, since he was so honorable, was that I was “more spiritual than religious.”  He then explained that this was almost more important because it applied to more than just religion.  I think about that often and try to apply what he was trying to say, because the world could use more spiritual people!

 What are some of your outside interests? I play tennis weekly, exercise, have a garden, a dog, a cat, and two kids.  I love being at home with my kids right now.

Is there anything else that would complete your story? I feel so fortunate to have been born into a “camp” family.  I try to explain camp to friends, but I find I don’t do it justice.  It is so much a part of me, just as a tree at camp.  I buy pine scent candles just so I can smell camp.  I feel more fortunate that this coming summer my daughter is attending Intro Camp. And the fact that there are so many alumni’s children also attending- camp makes me giddy.