February 25th, 2015 in Around the Woodstove
It’s been two years since we lost Don. Difficult times for me and the High Camp community. The journey has been fraught with grief, emotion, and deep support from family, staff and those who love Scottish Lakes High Camp. Our first year was basically a survival year…one foot in front of the other in all respects. The staff at High Camp was truly amazing, picking slack along the way and just making things work all around. It was particularly demanding and everyone stepped up to try to fill the deep dark void left by Don’s absence. I think we got through that first year just fine…bruised but still able to function as a strong High Camp team.
Into the second year we began to see the changes that needed to be made so High Camp could flourish rather than just survive. We all feel stronger now that we know we can proceed without the mighty force of Don’s leadership. He is deeply missed and still guides us as we move into the future. Eric Messerschmidt has made a remarkable difference for all of us! He accepted with enthusiasm the position of High Camp Mountain Manager. He has met the challenge of dealing with the logistics of operating this complex business. He has also contributed new ideas and positive energy that will enhance Scottish Lakes High Camp for years to come. Eric was so close to Don and “channels” him often as he moves up and down the mountain serving staff and guests and making my position as owner manageable and enjoyable.
For me, it has been a slow journey trying to figure out how to walk in this world without my partner of 45 years. At the celebration of Don’s life I said I felt I was in a “mosh pit” buoyed up by family and friends. I saw myself completely collapsed, held up by this amazing energy force of love in all its manifestations. I am no longer collapsed, but still staggering. I still feel that deep spirit of humanity as I navigate my future. I want to thank everyone…the phone calls, messages, hugs, smiles, and prayers have made all the difference in this new world of mine. These gestures that possibly seem so small and insignificant to the giver have a huge impact on the receiver…beyond what you can imagine.
In terms of my relationship with High Camp it is very strong! I still have the business for sale but feel absolutely no desperation to get rid of it. I believe new ownership is something that High Camp needs in the future, but for now we are doing just fine. When the right people come along I will be ready to pass on the torch, but for now all is well.
All my love, Chris