Letter to Editor: A forever friend

To the Editor:

I wish to express my deepest gratitude for Lee Patterson’s service to Camp Beech Cliff. Lee joined in the adventure of Camp early on, when it was just a dream. I am not sure as to how he heard about those early meetings that met once a month. It took some time before the same people became the early core of believers.

Lee was one of those who was not dismayed at how exactly were we going to create a day camp on 50 acres of neglected property on Echo Lake. There were no financial backers yet, but there was a faith and energy that a camp was going to happen. Lee joined in having that faith and determined energy.

His love and experience of camp lore were in his blood. He had been a counselor back in the 1970s at this very site we were hoping to rejuvenate. His heart was in it. He shared some fond memories of cold showers, swimming events, canoe trips, sweaty woods work, wilderness trips, and stories of people he shared his many camping journeys with.

As a board member, he could be counted on to examine ideas and see them from more than one perspective. His firm, gentle way helped us make sound decisions in timely a manner.

Lee helped Camp stay its course through transitions and enormous growth with his steady, calm leadership.

I loved how he would hold court at Camp every summer and share his love of Mother Nature with his knowledge, his collection of animal tracks in plaster and teach the inter-connectedness in the natural world.

Lee Patterson was a wonderful man who gave of his time, his heart, and his love of the outdoors to all the campers who now have a place called Camp Beech Cliff to be their sacred ground.

Thank you, Lee.

Vance O’Donnell

Marion, N.Y.

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