July 1 will mark 15 years since I first began summer camp and, cheesily enough, started friendships that are 15 years old. It's one of those milestones like the anniversary of your bat mitzvah (which I obviously have no clue about), or the date that you and your boyfriend made it official (which I obviously just don't have). My immediate thought to the 15 year mark was, “I'm old enough to be friends with these people for 15 years and actually remember it?” Oy.
If you're an average Jew from the burbs like I am, chances are your parents said peace out during the summer and sent you away for two glorious months ("glorious months" applying both to the camper and the parents). Camp and summer became forever interchangeable synonyms; you can't have one without the other. Childhood summers were marked by a love of rainy day activities, string bracelets that reached to the elbows, a fierce color war, and refusing to get into the lake until at least mid-July when it had properly warmed up.
Now that we’re all grown up and the notion of a summer break or any break for that matter seems ages ago, how does summer measure up? Sure we can no longer say we kissed our summer crush behind the hockey rink, but can summer still be wet hot? Lazy Susans are replaced by summer Fridays, while getting inappropriately drunk at the local camp bar (as an of-age counselor only, of course) has turned into getting inappropriately drunk for large portions of the weekend and in some cases the week.
Maybe summer isn't the season it used to be, but now that everyone shares the same indoor, 9-5, computer screen fate, maybe it’s okay. I love camp probably more than then the average lifer, but that cheer has been chanted. It's time to move on to patio drinking and the age of the Ray-Bans and boat shoes.
Why not embrace the summer we have instead of wishing for the one we used to? Unless you're Peter Panning it, which I have seriously considered, loosen your tie, untuck your shirt, and bask in the possibilities of the second best season of the year. (Football season wins every time.)