I awoke this morning with tears in my eyes. I awoke this morning from a dream, shared with Michael Hendricks and Tavares Golden. We sat around a table and shot the breeze, kinda like we did when we were teenagers. After a while, it was time for me to go. My heart was heavy as hell, as it has been all day today. All day, I've been thinking about Mike, Tavares, April (Leonard) King, and the O.G. Double O.G. of Camp Seale Harris, Robin Baggett. You see, these four are members of the Camp Seale Harris Family, whom we've lost over the years. I am missing them so much today!
Robin Baggett: If there were a table of godfathers, at camp, Baggett would be sitting there, right next to Jim Terry and Greg Allen. He was a cool dude and fun to be around. It was Robin that helped me a lot, in my first year as a Counselor In Training. Junior week came around and Greg had to leave. I got bumped up to Counselor, and given Greg's cabin, the LEGENDARY Cabin 8. HUGE shoes to fill, they were. Robin gave me the rundown on my campers whom he had known from previous years and mentored me through a few challenges. I had great success with Cabin 8. Thank you, Robin! I miss you Dude!
Michael Hendricks: If you knew Mike, then you knew that his presence was synonymous with contagious laughter. Mike had endured some pretty serious challenges in his life away from camp, but he told his stories in such a way that we'd die laughing, every time. You've gotta be a special person to be able to bring such joy to the lives of others. Camp Seale Harris was Mike's place of respite from his normal life. No one brought laughter to camp the way Mike did, plain and simple. Thank you, Mike! I miss you Dude!
Tavares Golden: Gentle Giant! Looking at the attached pic; that was the last time I was taller than Tavares. The following Summer, I swear he grew like 5 feet!! His new height was what drove me to playing dirty when we hit the basketball court. I mean, how else was I gonna win against this dude?? Tavares was soft spoken and a cool cat to be around. He and I kept up pretty good through FB, with our last chat taking place a few days before his passing. Thank you, Tavares! I miss you Dude!
April Leonard King: I have to admit, I wasn't sure if I'd return to camp after my first year there. April is who actually convinced me to return the following Summer. She was silly at times, yet very grounded. We actually ended up living down the street from one another in Birmingham, years ago. She even babysat for me, during some tough times in my life. April was a great friend with a heart of gold. Thank you, April! I miss you Girl!!
I have made posts in the past about Camp Seale Harris and it's effect on my life, but I am not the only person who has reaped the benefits of attending the Camp and working at the Camp. The Campers of Camp Seale Harris come from all walks of life, various backgrounds and ethnicities. After attending and working at the camp, myself, I realized that for some, Camp was the best part of every year of their lives. It is truly a special place and a blessing for so many people. Every Camper, Counselor, Nurse, Doctor, and more, I consider my family.
I've slacked in my participation in Camp Seale Harris activities, but in 2021, I am stepping up my game. My first effort in stepping up, is putting together a team to participate in the 2021 Birmingham Diabetes Walk (https://secure.qgiv.com/event/bhamwalk/team/869304). There are events throughout the year for anyone who'd like to help, donate, volunteer, and get to know this little piece of heaven on Earth. Check out CampSealeHarris.org for more info.