Camp Friends Are Forever Friends

If you know me, you know that I'm a "camp kid."

I grew up going to day camps, sleep-away camps, camps in California and camps outside of California. All of it. I lived for camps.

Now I hate the idea of camping in a tent, but give me a cabin filled with bunks and sleeping bags and a bunch of blankets, and count me in.

I've written before about a camp that is very near and dear to my heart, but there's something else that comes from going to camps other than just the experience of being away from home and in the fresh air.

It's the people that enter your life.

When I first came to college, I was homesick just like any other freshman. I wanted to be with my friends back home, and I wanted to be able to sit and hang out in my living room or be in my comfy bed.

There were a few people that I called when I started feeling this way... three of them were people from camp.

Something about meeting away from home where you're all living in a cabin without air conditioning, and having to take quick (and freezing) showers, brings you closer than a normal friendship.

I simply can't imagine my life without the people I've met from camps.

It's a bond that you can't form anywhere else.

You all choose to come back every summer.

You make friends at school because you have to be there. You don't really have that much of a choice.

Camp is different.

You choose to come back because sometimes you live too far away to just drive over and hang out.

You choose to come back because these relationships are what keep you sane during the year, and they're the people you most look forward to seeing every summer.

You come back and see your friends and scream obnoxiously as you run to tackle them to a ground after a year of FaceTimes and phone calls.

Camp friends are the ones you go to when you're at your lowest and need a reminder of what you have in your future.

They're the friends that you can count on to answer the phone because they just want to talk to you about what's going on. They'll FaceTime you instead of texting you, they'll send you letters just because they're thinking of you or found a funny "holiday" to celebrate.

Camp friends are the friends that care the most about communicating year-round. They know how important it is to stay in touch and they know why you send them SnapChats at 2 a.m. because of a little thing called time change.

They're the friends that love you in your sleep-deprived state at 3 a.m. because you can't fall asleep because you're all up talking about the most random things.

I can't stress the importance of having friends like these. These are the people that are going to speak at my wedding, and party with me all night long.

Because of camp friends, I know the importance of a phone call, a FaceTime, and a care package at school.

I now have excuses to go visit the east coast, the Midwest, and the Northwest. I understand what it means to be a good friend and the true meaning of "being there for someone." Camp friends have changed my life, and I know that I'm going to have mine in my life for eternity.

Picture: Emily Riley

Picture: Emily Riley

Picture: Emily Riley

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