I’ve known my husband and his family for almost 24 years. Throughout all of this time, I’ve heard story after story from them about a glorious childhood memory – their time at Camp Helen in Panama City, Florida. Without ever seeing this place, it sounded like a treasured piece of their family history. So often our memories grow in to “better than life” thoughts where nothing in real time can come close. It’s easy to hear, even now, the excitement when they remember the time they spent as a family at this camp.
It would seem to be a taboo of sorts for me to “retell” their stories. I do want to note in this journal I call my blog that Chad and I stopped at Camp Helen this past weekend. The state of Florida purchased the land for a state park and is working on restoring some of the property to it’s original camp.
We walked the grounds and I listenened as he shared. I was able to add real visuals to the many, many stories I’ve heard for so long. Funny…just being on the grounds, Chad remembered things I think he had forgotten about. I know I heard tales I’ve never heard before. We walked on the porch of the “big house” and peered in the windows of the little cabins. We walked the sandy beach trail down to the water and stood where the basketball and shuffle board courts were at one time. Now covered with brush and weeds, no doubt it was an incredible place at one time.
Based on the literature we picked up at the park office, there are big plans for Camp Helen. It looks like there will eventually again be a place to stay. Of course, it will never compare for those that spent so much time there previously.
Like I said, it’s not my place to share these memories. I hope that these stories are penned by those that were blessed with time at Camp Helen. Our children and grandchildren would love to hear about a time gone by that without a doubt, will not come again.