Saturday night I went to bed wrapped in more gratitude than warm blankets (and it was damn cold raw Saturday night). 60 people came this weekend to help us get the campground open for the 2010 season. This 16 year ritual is more than a way to get the leaves raked or the beach cleaned…it’s a metabolic jump start between the quiet time of “details not involving guests” and the full tilt boogie of “we’re open and the hospitality is bubbling at the front door.”
Clean up weekend reminds us that we’re not just a campground…Searsport Shores has always been a place where creativity, generosity, genuine concern and sharing thrive.
Without the passion that our guests bring when they’re packing up their tents and rv’s for a getaway, we’re just a big, (albeit well landscaped) place to camp. Yes, we offer campsites, but faceless corporations do that too…we’re more about the energy and the passion of lives well-lived.
Those who helped us this weekend are a testament to how wonderful our way of life is compared to the bazillion other ways there are to earn a living.
Can you think of another business where customers come and help put things right?
The list of chores was long and varied…we got the billboard up on the South side, scattered the benches around the 40 acres in all the pretty resting spots, blew the leaves off the path beside the stream in order to better see the ferns, put the playground back together and dusted all the books in the rec hall to name only a few. And then there were the more creative projects that will spark all sorts of conversations this summer…the tee-pee was woven in the garden to support gourds, sunflowers and climbing peas, there’s a new driftwood chandelier hanging from the rafters in the recreation hall and gourd ornaments in the trees. Watch the slide shows because as you know, a pictures worth a thousand words.
For almost 20 years we’ve intermingled our family life with our campground life; always living in the middle of the campground, occasionally sharing our hot tempers and our grumpy “daddy needs a nap” humor…but mostly feeling like the hosts of a big, wonderful celebration of leisure time.
When we tried to write our mission statement, we agreed that the Shores should be a vehicle for both creativity and positive social change. We understand that in operating and growing “our business” there are other bottom lines than just the financial one the accountant keeps track of. Our commitment to operating with a sense of responsibility and care for community is essential to who we are and, we believe, is of value to our guests. Yes, we’ve missed the mark once in a while and some of the people who come just don’t get “it” but most do and we’re learning to graciously accept that it’s impossible to be everything to everyone.
…but this is beginning to sound a bit preachy…Let me step off the soapbox…
THANK YOU to all who came and shared Mother’s Day Weekend with us. Thank you for wearing your rain boots and pulling on extra sweaters. Thank you for smiling and telling us not to be overwhelmed, that things are looking good. Thank you for cooking great food to share on Saturday Night. Thank you for organizing our sheds and closets. Thank you for licking and sticking with all your creativity :).
If someone walked into the campground with a suitcase filled with dollar bills…1 million or 7 million and said “here…let’s trade”… all I would do is laugh and show him to the door. We’re staying right where we are because you come to visit and we don’t want to miss you when you drive down the driveway.
Please come back again real soon,
Astrig & Steven