Sharing Camp with My Dad by Jose Islas

Feb 7, 2019

I spent six summers of my life at Camp Marist, three as a camper (’90, 91, 93) and three as counselor (’98, 99, 00), and they were without doubt the best summers of my 39 years of life.

One of my most memorable experiences at Camp happened a couple of years ago. My dad, my brother (also a previous camper) and I were visiting Boston for a Yankees vs Red Sox game in September. My brother and I decided to surprise my dad by taking him to Camp Marist. He had sent us there for many years, but had never visited. At the beginning, he was reluctant, he wanted to spend the day sightseeing in Boston but we insisted and he accommodated.

His awe started to build up as we drove closer, looking through the car window at all the amazing landscapes surrounding the place. When we arrived at Camp Marist you would not believe his gaze. He was awestruck. At some point he turned to us and said, “I always knew I was sending you to a very special place but I never realized how magical it really was until now.”

For my brother and me, it was a very emotional afternoon. Not only for ourselves, but also because of the memories that were brought back by visiting camp. We were flooded with feelings. It was obvious that this place had made a very positive impact on who we are as adults.

My dad was completely amazed by the place and the stories we told him. He had never before realized how important the effort of sending us had been to us. He was ecstatic to be there and experience it all first hand.

When I used to read the slogan “the best summer of your life” it had always taken me to “happiness and fun and sports and games.” But, after that last visit I realized there is so much more behind it: Camp Marist cemented my dreams, my confidence and my values as a person like no other place in my life ever did.