October 9, 2021

Summer Camp | Pittsburgh Photographer

Shannon's Personal Photography

Whoa. I went to summer camp for grownups. And it was soooo fun.

I first visited this place four years ago, and it's become one of my very favorite yearly occurrences. It's not glamping. I think glamping has its place in our world. Sometimes you want a the solitude and serenity of nature, but you also don't really want to rough it. And that is valid. But this is not that.

I didn't get to experience summer camp as a kid, but this is exactly what I would have wanted:

  • Trees
  • Hikes
  • Hammocks
  • Lots of kayaks
  • Communal dining in a hall with the best and silliest meal graces ever.
  • A Bluetooth karaoke mic
  • Cabins with 4 sets of bunk beds
  • Jam sessions
  • Porch-sitting
  • Dirty feet
  • 50 people around a campfire
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Naps
  • Pottery n' stuff
  • Bugs, plenty of bugs, but shockingly no ticks! Not one!
  • My favorite people. Old faves and new faves.

I was pretty weird, shy kid. I don't identify as shy any more. In my forty ish years I've learned how to get along with most people, and making a connection with someone, even a stranger, sometimes especially a stranger, is one of my all time favorite feelings. It's a big part of what I love about portrait photography.

But I don't make friends very easily. And to be honest, I am totally fine with that. I need to feel like my friends really "get" me. I need to feel like I can be me and be vulnerable, and be weird and deep, but also weird and silly, and sometimes weird and quiet. I clearly still identify as weird. As much as I love my weirdness, I still struggle at times to feel at peace with being me. I guess most people do?

My point is that I got to feel weird in the woods for 5 days and it was the best experience ever. I will definitely spend the rest the year wishing for the next time I get to go back!

This place is magical and I want it to be in my life forever.