The Target

Like many parents, I’m sure, much of my life seems a scramble between work and, honestly, everything else; then yesterday afternoon I picked up my daughter at camp, ate BBQ and lettuce so fresh it had grains of sand on one leaf, and realized, Here’s a bit of normalcy. Run by Fish and Wildlife, the camp’s youthful crew exuded energy, health, and merriment. Suntanned and happy, my daughter sat at a picnic table between an old friend and a new friend.

Here’s my goal for the gorgeous emerald Vermont July and August: remember, this is the only summer this kid will be twelve. Earn enough money, do my work – yes, of course – but much as this girl loved camp, she was happy to come home, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes….

From (where else?) Dylan Thomas’s incomparable “Fern Hill”

Buck Lake, Woodbury, Vermont


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


  1. Glad she like the camp. Our 12 yr old is at this week’s session; can’t wait to hear his stories.

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