stories about camp


i was reading the syllabus for english, and thinking about how much i do. not. want. to retake this class, and i was thinking about mr jones at csu(he SUCKED. if you’re a freshman there right now, take that class from harris, i beg you)and how much he drilled the concept of theme into our heads. and asked us to think of so many different themes from everything we read when most of them didn’t even fit into the story(although, i’m really dense about literature, so they probably all worked and i just didn’t get it), and somehow i started thinking about camp…how DID i get there? whatever. camp. theme. it’s 1 am, quit laughing at me.
so then i was thinking how each of my summers was different from the others.(it’s still hard to believe there’s only been three) they all dragged on and seemed like they’d never end, the second one especially(not that this was ever a bad thing), and they all changed my life in some way, but they all had their different big, major, overarching THEMES going on(see mr jones, i did NOT deserve that D. i totally got the point even if all my papers were like 4 lines short).

2008 was overwhelming, crazy, eye opening…so many things. i was so, so young, and had no idea what i was getting into. i was finally living this dream that i’d had since middle school, and it was nothing like i expected, but in all the best ways. i remember my first first week, when elizabeth told me that i was an adult at camp, and i would be learning a lot. it was a scary thought, being an adult at sixteen. and on top of all that, having my view of camp shaken, turned inside out, the whole summer was just a blur. that year was all about learning. the little things, like how to make a slushie and how to turn on the fan in cabin 7(to this day, you still have to turn it all the way to the right and then back one notch), or the bigger things, like how to survive when people bail on you, how to let go of those who do, how to love even the most difficult kids, and how to be that person that a little girl will remember for the rest of her life.

2009 was the hardest. there are some weeks that i don’t even like to read my journals from, because i don’t like to remember how i felt about them. (yes, it was that bad, and yes, i do write in that much detail.) it was a summer full of change, and i wasn’t ready for it. (ironically, this year i was totally braced for big shocks like that, and it was the first year that no one had jumped ship in the middle) i was still somewhat in camper mode, as much as i’d grown the first summer. see, the kids don’t ever quite understand that no one stays at camp forever. people grow up, graduate, or get “big girl jobs” and even the ones who totally love it have to leave one day. (except for me. when i’m 50 and have grandkids i’ll still be the awesomest cabin leader ever. [kidding.]) i had made camp all about the staff. yes i loved the campers to death, but once certain people were gone, it was like i totally forgot how to do my job. or rather, i forgot how to love it. and at the end of that summer, i was really leaning towards not coming back. (that didn’t last for long. just like i can’t stay mad at scott for more than a few days, i can’t hate camp for long either.) that summer was like a metaphor for my whole life. when things change, or people leave, i shut down. i make my life about the people in it, and not about Who’s running it. (and i didn’t even realize that until spring. it was late february before i even started the application, and it wasn’t because i’d been lazy and putting it off, it made me sad to look at it. but that’s a different story for a different post) that summer was about change. it took me a while to realize how much good all of it did.

2010…i’m not even sure of one repeating idea yet. it was the most different, the most dramatic, the most rewarding, and the best. but my attitude was so much different this year. i came in accepting so many things. instead of fighting them, i realized that there were certain things that were just part of camp.
there will always be drama. girls are like beta fish: stick 30 of them together for ten weeks, and eventually we’ll start fighting. that’s not quite the best analogy since we do love each other and the fish don’t, but whatever. instead of wondering why stuff went on, i just tried to stay out of what i could and make the best of what i couldn’t.
every summer will be different. different staff makes for a different dynamic. i’ve always gotten excited every year about the new staff that will be coming in, but mostly because i just like meeting new people anywhere i go. this year i couldn’t wait to see what each new person would bring to the table, how we would all work together. instead of complaining that it wasn’t the same as other years, i expected it and for that, i loved it.
i can’t settle on a word to describe 2010. i guess, the results of and my reactions to the changes that happened in ’09. but that still doesn’t sound right.
137 days until a new one begins. and i have a feeling, this will be the most different of all. but i’m still excited for it. God has always managed to show up, and the less i have to expect, the bigger surprise He’s got. i’m so ready to see it.


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