What a glorious weekend of fun, friendship and memories as PFC celebrated its 85th season. Former campers and counselors arrived on a beautiful fall weekend. Over 150 alumni from as far away as California, Colorado, and Florida sang a rousing chorus of the old camp welcome song, “We Welcome you to Pine Forest” when they were greeted by 4 generations of the 5 generation Black Family. Many dignitaries were in the crowd including several former head counselors. An especially warm welcome was extended to legendary Head Chef “Sparky” McIver’s daughter and granddaughter who were in attendance.
Activities were in full swing all afternoon with a pick up “A” game at Chadwin Court and arts and crafts featuring old-school tie dye and lanyard-making. Camp legend, Nafis ran alum through the ropes course and canoes were all out on Lake Greeley. Some alum even made a nostalgic trip out to Blueberry Island. A highlight of the weekend was the 85th season mural, created by Steven Charny. Almost everyone in attendance helped paint a part of it.
But it seemed like the most popular thing to do was relax with camp friends, smell the pines, listen to the acorns fall on bunk roofs, and recount stories from the past.
Late in the afternoon, everyone gathered at the corner of Route 6 and Pine Forest Camp Rd. to dedicate the red barn to PFC’s beloved Ricky Charny, a very special former camper, counselor, division leader, Color War leader, camp parent and all around, life-long PFC enthusiast.
Next, the group went back to camp just in time for line-up at the girls flagpole led by Lee Forest Black, with jokes by Lisa Sherman Fayne. Line-up was followed by a delicious dinner in the “new” dining room.
At night, everyone gathered under the stars for a campfire on Mitchell Field. Uncle Marv regaled everyone with his stories from the history of Pine Forest and we sang those classic camp songs that still resonate. And ahh, the taste of s’mores! Later, there was an “after party” with dancing to the classic sounds of a “Purple Haze” style DJ. Old bunkmates talked late, late into the night, even after curfew.
Thank you to each and every camper and counselor who attended and to those who could not but sent their many good wishes and support. Pine Forest is many things but most of all it is about the timeless bonds of friendship. May the happiness, joy, and adventure that it has brought thousands of campers and counselors for 85 seasons go on for the next 85. “Friends, friends, friends, we will always be…”