Kyle Eurey is lost in a forest of thoughts. The Recreation Manager for Reynolds is on a boardwalk near The Rock House, but his mind is miles and years away - the summer after 6th grade, to be exact.

"I think back to the summer camp I went to, not far from here, one of the best times of my life. I remember having a sense of freedom and listening to stories during adventure hikes. Oh, and I met my first girlfriend."

Kyle is now creating real-life memories for youngsters at Reynolds' Adventure Camp - though not necessarily the part about the girlfriend. "It's about discoveries, activities, and friendships. Mostly it's about fun."

He and his team of counselors must be channeling their young selves really well. Last summer 350 kids participated in at least one of Reynolds' 11 summer camps. Adventure Camp, with 105 boys and girls participating over eight separate weeks, has become the gold star. It's unlike any camp in Georgia because Kyle brings the goosebumps of his childhood into the week.

"We take the kids to Rock Hawk. It's a rare archeological site where I tell them stories that I heard at camp. But it isn't just telling stories. We're literally walking through the setting of each story."

Campers also learn lessons about "touching" in nature. That's poison ivy - don't touch. That's a southern toad - it will pee on you if you touch it. That's trash - pick it up, we can use that.

Campers collect trash all week and transform it into costumes for a "trashion" show. Last summer a girl used garbage to make a lion costume, and another used garbage bags and duct tape to make a Minnie Mouse outfit. All that said, "lake day" is hands-down the favorite time of the week. That's when Kyle becomes Captain Kyle and takes the kids tubing because, well, it's summer and this is Lake Oconee.

"Everyone is excited for lake day - the kids, the counselors, and me. It keeps us focused on freedom and fun and takes my mind to another place."

To a place miles and years away.

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