Once upon a time, I went to a summer camp I thought was truly magical. Once I turned 18, I returned to this camp as a counselor for three years. This particular camp was a sleep away camp, meaning I only had Saturday afternoons off for two months. Just enough time to go home, clean my clothes, take a real shower, and head back. I loved it.
Any time I smell a bonfire, it brings me back to opening and closing campfires, delicious s’mores, and clothes that smell slightly smoky all week. This past week it’s been a little rainy, so my wooden front door smells like the cabins in the woods would smell when we got stuck in the dining hall playing BINGO while it rained.
These few things, plus a couple more, always tend to bring back camp memories. But on top of this, I’ve just been thinking about camp a lot recently. It was a huge part of me for a long time. Today’s TimeHop pictures really got to me…
This year, they decided to close the camp down for good. They sent out an invite for former campers, counselors, etc. to attend the last closing campfire and some festivities. I chose not to go. I regret it.
Why would I not go when I loved this place so much? I was afraid. My last summer there was a confusing one. There was a boy – well, really a man (8 years older) – who I feel really took advantage of me emotionally. So I didn’t want to see this person, I didn’t want CJ to feel awkward since he knows all about it…just so many reasons not to go. Yet every time I really think about it, I regret I kept myself from saying goodbye to such a wonderful place because of a guy. I know he was there – I’ve seen pictures from the event – and it burns my ass I let him keep me away. I am 28 years old, dammit. I shouldn’t have let something from over 8 years ago dictate my life. So now there’s one more thing to be mad at this person about. Thanks.
So, this is a goodbye to a place that taught me:
- friends come in all shapes and sizes
- I could survive a week (then later, months) without my parents
- I could take really fast showers – when absolutely necessary
- escapades after curfew were always the ones that were the most fun
- walks on the beach in the moonlight are indescribable
- I was incapable of winning Ugliest Counselor Contest 😛
- Mailman is an extremely revealing game
- camp couches are not meant for napping
- some daily work assignments were definitely not as cool as others
- I am a boondoggle MASTER
- camp songs will forever be stuck in my memory
- camp spirit is something you should always have
- everyone loves a side-hug
- Megadog did not taste as good as it sounds (and definitely did not deserve its own parade)
- tie-dye t-shirts RULE
Thank you to all my camp family. You will forever hold a special place in my heart. I wish I could have seen you one last time, but at least you will remain forever young, fun, and happy in my mind.
Camp SVC all the way! HOW HOW!