The Vega Star shone brightly on the western shore of Echo Lake in Maine over Labor Day Weekend as over 100 camper and staff alums returned to their summer home. We are so grateful for everyone who was able to attend! Without a doubt, the 80th Anniversary Alumnae Reunion was a huge success!
Organizers and also Alumnae, Alyson Lee and Jennifer Kraft (veteran campers AND staff) asked us to plan the event over a year ago knowing this year was epic. Some of the details included bunk housing arrangements for different ‘eras.’ This, and so many other details, were fine-tuned by Vega’s very own Operations Director, Anthony Pyatt.
Veteran Shannon Thurston greeted arriving alum under the welcome tent and some alum rang the White House bell to herald their arrival. Kyle and Emily, and alums Jennifer and Alyson greeted the Friday night arrivals at dinner and led the dining hall’s traditional grace. Linda, hosted a Welcome Back Night after dinner with a trivia contest followed by yet another bevy of refreshments and music and photo ops on the deck of Boothbay. Staff alum Chris Greves returned as “chef” for the event, along with kitchen staff Denise and Lisa and team. The food was scrumptious, especially the steamed Maine lobster and corn on the cob, which was a huge hit!
The weather perfect all weekend, and found us all on the waterfront swimming (anchor club!), diving, boating, zip lining, skiing, and even ski jumping (yeah Kyle Courtiss!). There was the Great American Egg toss, and an amazing Apache Relay! Alyson and Jennifer acted as Generals and were assisted t by Emily and Kyle who ran the course and monitored the stations along with Vega’s post-camp (and amazing) staff.
Saturday night though was surreal as everyone lined up for Sunset Circle with the traditional format with each bunk. The night was perfect and the stars aligned as wish and will boats were carried in by each of the cabins, a Vega ritual for 80 summers. Songs were sung, words were spoken, and tears were spilled. Most importantly love was in the air along with the smells of the pines and the sound of the night. Wish boats were set along the fire, and Kyle, Emily and Linda spoke before the traditional ending of taps. Reflection on Vega’s long history was mentioned, but most especially the ‘why’ Vega has shone brightly, like the star it was named after in 1936. The setting is beautiful, but the love from those who lived here is felt throughout the ages.
In only a few short days, hours even, the generations of campers and staff alumni had come together just as we do during a summer at camp. Friends who had not seen each other in years, or even decades, felt as if no time had passed between them. We could all agree that the saying about a summer at Vega applied to this one very special weekend – From the outside looking in, you cannot understand it. From the inside looking out, you cannot explain it.
Thank you again to Anthony, Jennifer, Alyson, and the Vega staff for making the reunion possible. And thank you to everyone who attended. It was hard to say good-bye to so many wonderful friends – our Vega family – and we cannot wait to see you all again soon.
Linda, Kyle, and Emily
P.S. To see more pictures and video from the reunion, check out the reunion FB page.