7 Reasons Why Camp Friends Are The Best Friends

7 Reasons Why Camp Friends Are The Best Friends

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the others gold.
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The highlight of my summer, every single year since I was eight years old, has been going to 4-H camp. Now, at 21 and as a counselor and a staff member, I still feel the same way. One of the best parts of camp though? Without a doubt, the people. My camp friends are one of the driving reasons why I wanna keep coming back each and every year. Whether you're a camper or a counselor, here are just a handful of reasons why camp friends are the best kind of friends.

1. They don't judge you on anything

There's no room for judgment when you haven't had enough time or hot water for a real shower in three days or you're wearing an entire thrift store aisle in one outfit. Nope, no judgment.

2. You have enough inside jokes to last a lifetime

If a tree branch even so much as cracks out in the distance you'll hear every counselor (and some campers even) yell "WATCH OUT BLAKE!" and you really just shouldn't even ask. And there was the time Gwen Stefani came to Camp Ohio of course!

3. They understand your morning struggles

7:45 flags seem to roll around real fast every. single. time. But your camp friends will still love you despite the fact that you're falling back asleep or look like you're contemplating murder.

4. And they're willing to stay up late for you

This is probably why mornings are so rough but oh well. Whether it be as campers whispering back and forth in your bunks or as counselors on the cabin porch debriefing about a rough day, who cares what time it is? Gotta check in with your friends sometime and it can be hard during the day.

5. They're always happy to see you

Some of my closest friends I only see twice a year; at our staff training weekend and then at camp itself. When we finally get together you can bet on at least couple hugs (more like ten or twenty) and enough smiles to make my cheeks hurt in the best way possible.

6. They're your biggest cheerleader

Even outside of camp I can always count on my summer family to have my back and cheer me on. I always treasure every positive Facebook comment, reassuring text message or smiling picture sent my way.

7. No matter where life takes you, they'll always care

No matter how much we wished it didn't every year camp has to end at some point. And eventually, life leads us on a path that might not have camp on its radar anymore. But just because our time at camp ends, doesn't mean that the friendships ever will. Camp friends are best friends, and they're forever friends.

To each and everyone of my camp friends, thank you for impacting my life is more ways than I can ever count. I love and cherish you all dearly and I'll forever hold our memories at our favorite place on earth close to my heart. Wishing you all nothing but the best.

Cover Image Credit: Blake Fox - OLC 2015

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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.
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Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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To The Newly Graduated Seniors, Thank You

A thank you to the new alumni who made my freshman year great.
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Dear Newly Graduated College Seniors,

Thank you for coming into my life when you did. As you were preparing to leave college, I was just getting started. You have shaped my life and my future career in many, many ways and I am proud to have gone to college with you for the short time I was allowed.

First of all, thanks for showing me that graduation will happen. Whether it is in four years or five years I have seen that graduation is a possibility and not just a distant dream. I feared when I first began my college career that I would not be able to graduate but you have shown me that with the right amount of perseverance and confidence I will be able to get my undergraduate degree.

You guys have also taught me not to let the problems of becoming an actual adult let you down. It is okay to cry and ask for help when I have a situation I do not think I can handle. You guys supported me through many obstacles my freshmen year of college and I will continue to support you as you move on to bigger and better things.

One of the most important lessons you taught me is not to dismiss the freshmen. I was so scared you guys would automatically shut me down because you were on your way to graduation and did not want to make any more connections or friends that you would leave behind. All of you took me in and listened to me and gave me memories that I will personally cherish for the remainder of my college career and even after I graduate.

Thank you, now alumni, for being my friend and giving me a place in your lives. Please keep in touch and visit. I can not wait to have an amazing Alumni Weekend because of the amazing seniors I was blessed to meet as a freshmen.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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