Annie asks us to remember summer camp.
I only went to three summer camps. The first was in junior high and I went to basketball camp. Having never been to camp at all and new to playing basketball, my parents and I decided this would be a good thing for me. However I was unable to attend the junior high basketball camp. My parents arranged for me to go to the high-school camp. Now…I had never been away from home unless it was with family. I had no one my age or even from my school district at this camp. I. Was. Homesick. Oh my word was I homesick.
The highschool girls who had been assigned to room with me, to their credit were really quite sweet and tried to include me as much as possible. They made sure I was asked to accompany them to meals. I think I must have lost ten pounds that week at least because I couldn’t manage to eat much more than an apple or a bowl of cereal and we were run hard all week. It was a horrible experience, but looking back I am grateful for how those older girls tried to care for me.
The next experience at camp was as a counselor! I actively pursued this position. It was held at a retreat place on a beautiful lake. I was a counselor there for two years, the first as a senior in college and the second the year after I graduated. I have the best memories from these camps. I was with wonderful people I loved and respected and with teens who responded to me in such an overwhelmingly positive way. It was traditional camp with canoeing, swimming, softball, volleyball, campfires and daily Mass. There were arts and crafts and music. Oh the music was my favorite.
Being a camp counselor and all the fun there more than made up for my junior high experience.
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