Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Friday, January 14, 2011

Summer Camps and other Places

Our father was on the Presbytery Board as treasurer. I mean, what else would an accountant be doing on such a board? Anyway, Dad helped to create the Church Camp in our area called Calvin Crest. It was on a piece of land near Yosemite and was well off the beaten path.

When Bill and Dan got to go it was mainly tents on platforms next to an old farmhouse in the middle of an apple orchard surrounded by oaks and pine trees. The farmhouse scared me to death. It had a dirt basement that Dan and I would go explore (he dared me so I had to go--scared or not) I remember that Dan loved to go because there was lots of hiking involved for the boys.

Our parents also sent us to YMCA camp at Lake Sequoia. Called Camp Tulequoia. This is the one I really loved because I could swim in the lake and shoot rifles at the shooting range I don't think my parents ever knew about my shooting range experiences. But Dan did. He had our Grandfather's rifle. I don't think he ever tried to shoot it but we talked about the difference between that gun and the little .22's that I shot at Y Camp.

I think Dan's biggest camping experience, though, was the Boy Scout Jamboree. I don't remember what year it was but the Presbyterian minister from Strathmore made sure that Dan went. It was at Valley Forge. One of our last conversations was what he learned there---that people are not always right when they make the rules and sometimes, no matter what your age, you have to point that out.

It got him into a bit of trouble throughout his life. But if he thought the rule wasn't right, he would do his best to do something about it.

He learned lots of things at all of the camps he went to. He learned to be together, to be alone, to speak up and say his piece. He learned a lot about honor and integrity. I like to think he already knew that stuff, he just found that he could say it. 

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