Marta (Skluzacek) Drew
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabins: 1983 Happy Hollow; 1984 Fireflies; 1985 Fawns; 1986 Windy Lodge; 1987 Nutcracker; 1988 Clubhouse; 1989-1990 LT; 1994 Squirrels (Counselor); 1995 Squirrels (Head Counselor); 1995 (Division Director, Third Session); 1996 Windy Lodge (Counselor)
Education: Degree in English, University of Iowa
Occupation: Senior Editor, Lovevery
The year was 1983, the outfit was a goldenrod-yellow sweatsuit that did not suit my skin tone, and the cabin was Happy Hollow, upper east chalet. There was a glamorous counselor named Tanya, who taught dance, and two girls in my chalet who coordinated their outfits right down to their belts. My best friend Betsy had come to camp with me and was almost immediately adopted by the outfit girls, while I ran joyfully up the path towards waterfront with someone named Libby, who had the bed next to mine and was marvelously funny. My love for Camp Lake Hubert was instant and permanent.
I had some hard summers at camp too, but there was never any question about going back each year. I changed sessions a couple of times, changed friends, changed myself, but the place –with its green slamming doors, its singing voices, its arrows thunking into targets or swishing past them into the woods—has stayed with me always. Camp is where I grew up.
You know that song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” by the Rolling Stones? That could have been written about camp. I do not think a single one of my 10 ½ summers at Camp Lake Hubert gave me exactly what I expected or wanted from it, but I always got what I needed … to grow, to learn, to do better. Camp forced me to shed parts of myself that were not working for me, made me loosen my grip on friends that were not meant for me. It was hard. Really, I have probably had my heart broken more times at camp than anywhere else, but nothing good gets away; camp taught me that, too.
There is just something about those people who see all of your mistakes and love you anyway: your fashion and hair missteps, your character missteps, your spiritual questioning, your self-questioning. That is essentially what family is, right? Family is the people who see you laughing so hard that you actually pee in your pants (Day One in Nutcracker, thank you very much), or they see you truly lose your mind over a breakup (sorry, guys), or they watch you experiment with horseback riding (sorry, horses). You protect and betray and lose and find each other over and over again, summer after summer until you become a singular kind of family. You may not hang out with every one of them, but you love them. It’s a beautiful thing, especially for this only child.
Truly, I could go on forever about camp –just ask my friends and family (I’m not sorry). The people –both women and men—who know me the best and love me the best and tease me the best and push me the best are from Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert. My friend Chris “Fletch” Justice ( S1992-1996, S1998) says that if the world were to end, he would want to be at camp with all of us, singing taps together. I hope the world does not end until long after our time, but if it does, count me in. I will pick up some friends on my way up.