Back in 1988, Patrick was 13 years old and I was 11. Both families were visiting Van Vac for their annual family vacation. (A tradition that started with my grandparents before there was even electricity available at Van Vac!) We met at the main dock one day and became friends. Before our two-week stay was over, we were "boyfriend and girlfriend."
Due to unforeseen circumstances, my family was not able to come back. But Patrick and I remained friends through letters and occasional long-distance phone calls. His family lived in Iowa, and mine lived in Illinois.
Although we often talked about it, we were never able to see each other -- until the summer of 1997. Patrick and his family had since moved to Minnesota. I took a week off from work and drove up for a visit.
The anticipation of seeing each other was almost too much to handle. It was so exciting! After almost 10 years, we were finally going to see each other again. We had a wonderful week together, and sparks flew. From there we had a long-distance relationship for about a year. I then moved to Minnesota. Patrick was in school at the time. When he graduated, he moved back to St. Paul; I did too.
Then, this summer his family was planning their annual trip to Van Vac, and the whole family was planning to attend. How exciting! On the way up to camp, Patrick proposed. It was absolutely fabulous.
Camp Van Vac is not only a place where many times we found ourselves -- we also found each other.