Camp Friends

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I met my first friends in the summer of 1966 at Hidden Falls Ranch (a Christian youth camp on the Palo Duro). Sure, I had friends growing up in Canyon, but real friends—I believe one needs to be a friend to have one, and before that summer I didn’t know how.

To be a friend, that is. The kids at Hidden Falls taught me—taking me in when there were so many reasons not to, loving me unconditionally, believing in me. Heck, I didn’t even believe in myself.

That was 50 years ago, and I still keep in touch with Meg (Austin), Gary (Australia), Kinne (Oregon), Lee (Washington State), and Ann (Amarillo). There are more: You know who you are even if my aging mind can’t name you right now. 🙂

I made new friends every year I worked at HFR, including from ’76 to ’80 when I became the director. Then, the folks were younger than I—I was their boss—but we were friends, too, and I still keep up with them, mostly on Facebook.

C.S. Lewis said that friends (unlike lovers) stand side by side, not face to face. We do so because we share a common interest (the thing we’re looking at together). At HFR that was our God, our campers and our majestic canyon.

I suppose that’s the way it’ll be in retirement, too. If you want more friends just notice where your gaze rests (your passion); then see who’s standing next to you.

2 thoughts on “Camp Friends

  1. You and Charlotte are great friends, Mike! I tremendously value our 50-year old friendship.

    I thank God, daily, for the ranch (HFR)…the place where I, too, met some of my best friends…including the very best “side by side” friend I have…Jesus.

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