Growing up at White Thorn Lodge made for the BEST childhood ever! Being surrounded by a great group of people both young and old, helped to mold the beliefs that I still hold today—extend peace, love and kindness so that life can be just a little bit easier—not only for yourself but for those around you. Growing up at camp taught me to not be judgmental—not only towards myself and my body image-but to not use judgment towards others.

The last of my family left White Thorn Lodge in my mid to late teens. Over the next few decades, life took me in different directions. But I have always been drawn back here—to home. Over the years, the faces have changed, but the people remain the same. There isn’t a better group that I would rather surround myself with than those at White Thorn Lodge.

The co-op spirit is one of my favorite things about camp. The fact that our founding mothers and fathers came together to create our beautiful piece of paradise is amazing. They took a plot of land with only a dilapidated farmhouse in the middle of a strip mine and turned it into one of the best places on earth. But what is even more incredible, is that for more than six decades our members have continued and expanded that original dream. That has taken commitment, hard work and determination from people from all walks of life. Did I mention sweat, blood and tears? Because yes, it takes plenty of that too. So yes, the amenities are awesome to enjoy—but it is the people who make White Thorn Lodge what it is—just a wonderful place to be.

As a single middle-aged woman, I can assure you that you won’t feel more safe or welcome than you will behind the gates at White Thorn Lodge. Come and visit us, I promise you will have a wonderful time and that the uneasiness will melt right away. Like many of us, you may never want to leave.