As most of you know, Kawaga is very proud of its traditions and heritage. One of our strongest traditions, something that makes us probably the most proud, is the love and continuing traditions of our multi-generational families. Recently, we received an email from one of our fathers whose son, Jonah, is joining us at camp for the first time this summer during 2nd session. Ian’s feelings and thoughts really hit home with Dewey and I, and we wanted to share it with our camp family. Here, unedited, is the email we received that we wanted to share:
I am a third generation Kawaga brave. My Uncle, Chuck Rubovits, was a camper at Kawaga for the first time in either the summer of 1915 or 1916. All manner of Rubovits, Brasch and Alexander men spent their formative summers on the shores of Lake Kawaguesaga. Yesterday, I dropped my son off at the bus for the beginning of what I hope is his first of many summers on the shores. Kawaga means a lot to me. I met my best friend (to this day) when we were ten year old campers at Kawaga. To say that I am beyond thrilled that my son is carrying on a family tradition is the understatement of my life.
Jonah never had a choice about where he would spend this summer. When he was hours old I read the Kawaga Ideal to him in his crib. He has always known that he would go to Kawaga because for me there was no other option. I am lucky that my wife has indulged me in what I consider an essential part of his childhood. I only hope that he is able to experience the joy and learn the lessons that I experienced as a camper at Kawaga. Thank you for your part in raising him so that his wishbone will not be where his backbone should be.
I had no idea how much his departure yesterday would affect me. As a former camper, I have some understanding of what life at Camp Kawaga is like. Together we watched videos online, went to father son camp and met with you during the off season. We did all of these things so that he would know what to expect when he was finally ready to become a camper. What I didn’t know or realize is how much his first summer at camp would affect me. When Jonah was four months old I had a near death experience. Thankfully, I am fine now. At that time, I prayed that I would live to see Jonah through certain milestones in his life. The first of which was becoming a Kawaga brave. Yesterday we met the milestone. I am so excited that he is up at camp and learning things about himself that I believe are essential to his development as a person. The “I have not lived my life in vain” part of the Ideal is becoming a reality. It is hard to express the emotions that I felt yesterday and continue to feel now.
For me, Kawaga is a part of my DNA. Learning to laugh at myself was one of the best lessons that I learned at camp. I am positive that Jonah is going to take great lessons away from this summer all of which will help make him into the kind of person that I know he will one day become. I am excited to see pictures of him, read letters and hear the stories of what life at camp is like for him. Thanks again for your part in building my son.