As you may or may not know, Andrew and I have a dream. We created this dream in 2005 when we first started dating. Andrew and I met while working as camp counselors for Banner Day Camp, or as we like to say driving school buses. Enough reminiscing about our earlier days.
Anyway, when Andrew and I first started to get to know each other, we realized we have a lot of the same values and morals and hopes for the futures. One of those hopes has turned into our dream which we are starting to think can actually come true. You're probably like, just tell us what it is already.
Our Dream: To start a camp for students with special needs.
The REAL reason we moved to Madison was to hopefully get this dream up and running. We thought Madison, while being more liberal, would also be more accepting and cheaper for us to get our foot in the door, or camp tent for that matter. While we LOVE Madison and still feel this is a place where we could open up camp, this past year, the whole camp idea has gotten even that much closer to reality.
We have recently come across some land in the finger lakes region of New York. Kelly, my dad's wife, and her family have acreage in Clifton Springs, NY. This summer, we got a chance to see that land with my dad and Kelly. We got to stay with Grammy, Kelly's 95 year old grandma. She lives in an old 100-year old farm house just on the edge of this land. We also met Jack and Trudy, Kelly's parents. Jack was the one who designed our beautiful kitchen. It was great being able to thank him for the phenomenal plans.
The Group--Ange, Dad, Me, Kelly, Grammy, Jack and Trudy.
On a side note, I made him a scrapbook of our renovation. They do not have Internet and were unable to follow the progress online, so I printed the posts and put them into a book. He loved it and felt like he was actually there.
Back to our trip....we got to explore the farm and land. Clifton Springs is a small town, of about 2,300 people. About halfway between Rochester and Syracuse, it would be a central location for campers and it has a top-notch Hospital right in town.
Along with the several week camp, our dream has sky rocketed and we hope to have wine tours, ski weekends, music camps (my dad's dream), executive retreats, weddings, etc. You name it, we'd love to use this land for all of that and more. Just to keep us busy the whole year.
Here are some pictures from our trip. We really got to visualize what the camp could look like. It was great to see the land.
The 100-year old Farm House
Looking out on the land from the house. The white fence is the pool.
The biggest of the 3 ponds. Such a beautiful view.
The Apple and Pear Orchard.
Walking through the paths. Grammy made Andrew and Dad carry clubs, just in case we came across a crazy, dangerous animal.
Just imagine a cabin here.
A Mennonite-made cabin. Can't you just picture this in the woods with banners reading, Brown's Cabin, or The Hawkeye Cabin, or "Your Name Here" Cabin.
One of the many things in Clifton Springs dedicated to Kelly's Grandpa, Johnny Brown. This was a beautiful park with brand new baseball fields (Johnny was a big ball player and coach), playground equipment, bathrooms and a pavilion.
Along with touring the farm, we also got a chance to tour the Finger Lakes Area. We got a chance to see several of the local wineries.
Jack and Trudy, Kelly's parents, live right on Seneca Lake and we were lucky enough to see their adorable lake cottage with beautiful views. It was a bit rainy, but very cozy.
It was a great trip and we can't wait to go back. We got to see it in August, we can only imagine what it would look like in the middle of the Fall. We are extremely lucky to have this opportunity. Please check back and see what progress we have made with our dream.