Tom Heneghan - CEO, Equity LifeStyle Properties

One of the definitions of "home" is "the place where somebody feels that he or she belongs." Home is the comfortable place where traditions root and rituals are followed.

I've heard it said time and again, whether it's snowbirds at one of our properties who consider their winter quarters as "home" or the family at our property that spends summer days at "home" in their RV or resort cottage "this place is home."

Comfort, tradition, and ritual are all a part of what makes you feel at home. Comfort with your surroundings knowing there are friendly faces to greet you. Creating traditions from big holiday gatherings to quiet evening campfires in the company of friends. Rituals whether it be the regular weekly softball games, the Saturday night dances or the weekly bridge and mah jongg games. We come to look forward to all of this in the place we call "home," wherever we may be and for whatever the duration.

Did you ever travel somewhere and get the sense that you just didn't belong there? Something was amiss but you just couldn't pinpoint what it was? Most likely it was the lack of community. There was no warm greeting, no regular schedules nothing to make you feel part of the family. Do you remember the first time you left home whether it was summer camp, college or a move to a new city? The frequent piece of advice you heard was most probably "get involved, join a group."

When you stay with us there are plenty of groups to join from woodworking to jewelry making, from bird- watching to bocce, from dancing to aquacizing. The sense of community welcomes you in, making it easy to join these groups with the people who make this home. You come to look forward to seeing the friendly faces.

Consider the events and activities calendars that many of you anticipate. It's these events - the annual celebrations to honor Memorial Day and Independence Day, Christmas in July, the corn and fish boils and the close of day campfires that you've come to observe as tradition. When it comes to rituals, there isn't a holiday that passes where a community isn't planning a big group dinner or ceremony to mark the event. Easter hams and Thanksgiving turkeys you bring the sides!

Someone once said, "we are the sum of our experiences." As you reflect on a particular season, a year, or perhaps a lifetime, the experiences and friendships along the way all come together to make up who you are.

The Memorial Day weekend is upon us, one that is traditionally considered the kickoff to the camping season, and we're waiting for you right here at "home."

Thought Of the Month
He makes his home where living is best. Proverb

Tom Heneghan
President and CEO