Leah (Palamaro) and I met at Camp in 2006. We had both been attending camp since we were little kids, but had somehow managed to miss each other until that fateful summer. Leah was the horse wrangler and I was a counselor. Leah freely admits that she almost immediately developed a crush on me, but due to my disinterest in horses (and the smells associated with them) I didn’t pay her quite the attention she would’ve liked. We did leave camp good friends and our friendship grew over the next three years while we were both in other relationships. We would often hang out in large groups of friends (most of which had some association with Delanco Camp).
In the spring of 2009, both Leah and I found ourselves single and celebrating Leah’s birthday. After that night the tables turned. The pursued (Dave) became the pursuer. Leah and I started spending a lot more time together and it became obvious to everyone that Leah and I made a good couple…well everyone except for Leah. I got rejected a few times, but I kept on pursuing. Before we officially started dating we were asked to co-dean the Fall Retreat at camp that year. In August of 2009, we officially started dating and in October we worked with our good friends, Jen and Julio Nieves, on the Fall Retreat.
Delanco Camp really played a large part in bringing us together. It’s where we met. That ﬁrst retreat was a great test and growing experience for our early relationship. There was a lot of planning that went into it and we worked together effortlessly. I think that retreat, and the three others we did together really helped us grow closer together as a couple. It was working with Leah on those retreats that I realized she’s one of the few people who can keep up with my scattered way of thinking and quick (but often lame) sense of humor. We made an awesome team and I knew it was a team I wanted to be part of for a long time. Camp is also the place where we really started to cultivate the spiritual side of our relationship. During the summer of 2010, when I was on summer staff, Leah spent three different weeks out there and we took that time to start doing devotions together.
Leah and I got engaged in the summer of 2011 and married in the summer of 2012. Delanco Camp played a huge part in bringing us together and shaping us into the spouses that God knew we both needed. Camp is still a big part of our lives and we are excited for what God has in store for both us.
Remember to be nice to your fellow campers and staff members (regardless of how they smell at the time). You never know who you will end up marrying.