He Does More Than Just Swim

Today, I got the day to myself, which doesn’t happen very often. I enjoyed the solitude like a good steak.

Today, Doug and all of the kids went up to Camp Edwards to help open things up for the season. Camp Edwards is the camp he went to as a little kid, the Camp where he was a counselor, and the Camp on whose Board of Directors he now sits. Camp Edwards is on Lake Beulah just over the Wisconsin border, and Lake Beulah is the lake in which he made his first open water swim at the age of nine. If my arithmetic is right, that was 44 years ago, in 1967.

The destination is Buck Island, which is a little over a half mile away (although when repeating the story of my own Buck Island Swim, I preferred to call it a full one mile swim). The Buck Island swim has been a rite of passage for campers for decades; to Doug, it meant that he could start taking sailing lessons.

Each of our kids has gone to Camp Edwards from the time they were eight. They love this Camp. It’s part of their identity. Each has completed the Buck Island Swim, though more than one have announced that they will never do it again. Speaking of rites of passage, each of our kids also belong to Camp’s secret society, called the Tribe of Nani Ba Zhu. In fact, everyone in our family belongs to that secret society except me, because I didn’t have the good fortune of going there when I was little. I am happy for them, but secretly I get a little ticked about that. Perhaps one day they’ll let me in.

Today was a day that they cleaned the canoes, rigged the sailboats, mowed and trimmed the lawn and took it all in. They came home dirty and tired and knowing that summer has begun.

My Bionic Boyfriend has a standing appointment at Camp this year. It will be early every Friday morning to accompany this year’s campers on their own first Buck Island Swim. They don’t know it yet, but each of them will be taking their first stroke on A Long Swim. The first Buck Island swim is scheduled for June 24th. I will go along and take some pictures for you all to see.

And I wonder if, 44 years from now, one of those campers will be someone’s Bionic Boyfriend and will be preparing to swim the English Channel.

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