There's something about lumberjack sports that creates a real sense of community. Competition aside, there's a true sense of camaraderie that comes built into every event you learn. Whether it's synching up with a partner to find the right beat (damn these dance metaphors) on the crosscut saw, or finding a willing spectator to spot the weaknesses in your underhand chop, this is not a solitary world. Maybe it's something that harkens back to life in a real lumberjack camp, where camp was life. Everyone who falls in love with this sporting tradition feels a sense of responsibility for preserving that camaraderie--for spreading the word and building a community that just kind of gets it. It's not dissimilar from what you might see in other so-called niche sports like strongman and powerlifting, but there's an added sense of "this is more than a sport; don't let it fall through the cracks."
Over the past week, we've been hearing a lot about organizations like the New York State Lumberjack Association (NYSLA); hubs created by people who, like us, just wanted to promote interest and experiences in lumberjack sports. So today, in the hot sun, working on our underhand swings, Nathan Waterfield persuaded us to try for an amateur competition come September. At the top of a 45-ft pole, we thought, "Why not?" This is our camp now.
So you heard it here first. On the fifth day, we signed up to play with the big boys. And we also had s'mores.