|Checked back into Camp
Voice of a Hyde Bay Girl
Jennifer "Jeffie" Downs
I must have been 5 or 6 when we first went to Hyde Bay Camp, where my father tutored kids in English and reading for the summer. I was totally in love with the place. Being outdoors all the time, swimming, playing in the woods. It was also great because it was so relaxed. There was a great feeling of humor and kidding that was in the air all the time. I loved Henry the cook who was always friendly to us. Since I grew up at Gilman School in Baltimore and went to Hyde Bay Camp in the summer until age 11, I was always in a male dominated environment. But Hyde Bay was always warm and welcoming even though looking back on it I was more of an observer than a participant. My sense of community and fun comes from those years and I think in a way I have looked for that kind of feeling in many places since then.
I remember being in a play as Captain Ahab in Moby Dick. This was a play put on by the kids of the staff. It was really fun. Since Hyde Bay I can sum up my life by saying that I love the cycles of nature and am also fascinated by people and what makes them feel good or have a hard time. We all have a fair share of both I think.
I became an RN after a good friend who was an expert herbalist took that route to give her freedom in the healing professions. I got the RN and went on to study Acupuncture in England with J.R. Worsley. I feel grateful to have had such a wonderful teacher and the work of acupuncture brings me back around to my appreciation of natural cycles I first came to experience at Hyde Bay Camp.
I have now been in practice for 31 years as an acupuncturist and never tire of it. Now my projects relate to the richness of the second half of life which I am most decidedly in. I am writing about my insights and inspirations and found some wonderful guidelines for us in the "seven tasks of the second half of life" which was material drawn from the work of C.G. Jung. I visited the old site of Hyde Bay Camp about 12 years ago and got some great photos of the willow and the lake. I also found an arrowhead....which was very cool.
As an older Mom I have one daughter who is 18 and just going to college. Like many of our generation I married late, had fertility issues, dealt with that, got divorced but on good terms now and feel some happy alignment with the baby boomer generation. Great books to read about all of this:: “Encore” and “The Big Shift,” both by Marc Freedman.
I would love to go back again to the Hyde Bay site some time.