An Open Letter To The Summer Camp That Changed My Life

An Open Letter To The Summer Camp That Changed My Life

It's the place that I love best - ho la hee la ho

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I remember it like it was yesterday.

The sun was shining brightly down on my small pale face in the July heat. My first time at a sleep-away camp.

I was carrying my pink sleeping bag and my dad next to me with a large duffle bag stuffed with t-shirts, shorts, water shoes, sunscreen and bug spray.

I wasn't scared, it was almost a relief. Little did I know that 10 years later, I'd be one of the lifeguards at the pool.

Camp Don Lee in Arapahoe, North Carolina has changed my life. It has brought me amazing friends, memories, and experiences like no other. It makes me sad to know that some kids are not fortunate enough to be influenced by something so positive.

From belting Cinema and Africa at camp dances to the thrill of taking the rope swing off the high dive (illegal, but whatevs), to late night talks on the benches at vesper dale - camp has it all.

You know how those things that become so incredibly important to you often times will relate to small things in your daily life that make you nostalgic? It happens to me every day.

Whether that be the way the clouds look on an exceptionally blue day reminding me of standing on the shoreline watching sailboats pass by with the breeze blowing by,

or smelling the scent of pine trees reminding me of the being on the challenge course, or the way a day feels outside, or when I listen to a song and I am taken back.

I wish it upon everyone to experience this.

My best summer was 2016. Spending it on the beach with my closest friends who know everything about me as we sit underneath the stars and watched the Cape Lookout lighthouse spins in circles, singing songs by a campfire, roasting marshmallows. It is moments like that where I wish I could stay forever.

As a staff member, it brings me so much joy to see campers smile and hug you because you are their role model, or to take a break by the poolside, or go exploring New Bern with your friends on your nights off or go to the beach on your weekend off.

I am thankful that I've gotten so much from this place. There is no greater bittersweet sadness that I feel on the last day of camp as we sing the goodbye song. Camp has my heart, and the day that I first came to camp was the most influential day on the timeline of my life.

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52 Instagram Captions Perfect For Your Next Beach Vacation

Perfect for those beach daze.
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Summer is officially in full swing. We are all looking forward to the adventures that await us. A lot of us have been dreaming about the day when we finally get to kick our feet up and relax by the ocean. If you find yourself getting ready for a trip to the beach then read these quotes to help get your in the mood for your vacation. Whether you are looking for an Instagram caption or are just trying to settle a bad case of wanderlust, here are 52 quotes on summer:

1. "Hello summer."

2. "I'm happiest when I'm floating in the ocean."

3. "May you always have a shell in your pocket, and sand in your toes."

4. "Life is better with palm trees."

5. "Sandy toes. Sun-kissed nose."

6. "Balmy nights, pink sunsets, and salty air."

7. "Talk to the sand."

8. "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air." -Emerson

9. "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I should go to the beach."

10. "Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure."

11. "The ocean is calling and I must go."

12. "Here comes the sun."

13. "If it requires a bikini, my answer is yes."

14. "I'm just a beachy kinda girl."

15. "As free as the ocean..."

16. "As endless as the ocean, as timeless as the tides..."

17. "Life's a beach. Enjoy the waves."

18. "A pineapple a day keeps the worries away."

19. "Let the currents guide your heart."

20. "Happiness comes in waves."

21. "Let's go somewhere where the stars kiss the ocean."

22. "My favorite color is sunset."

23. "I lost my heart to the sea."

24. "Sun, sand, and surf."

25. "Salt in the air. Sand in my hair."

26. "Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." -Van Morrison

27. "High tides and good vibes."

28. "Mermaid kisses and starfish wishes."

29. "Stop and smell the ocean."

30. "I'm happy anywhere I can see the ocean."

31. "Tropical state of mind."

32. "Forever chasing the sun."

33. "Girls just wanna have sun."

34. "Some of the best memories are made in flip flops." -Kellie Elmore

35. "Good times and tan lines."

36. "Palm trees, ocean breeze, salty air, sun-kissed hair, endless summer, take me there."

37. "The ocean is calling."

38. "Love you to the beach and back."

39. "Paradise found."

40. "Seas the day."

41. "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

42. "Eat. Beach. Sleep. Repeat."

43. "I never met a sunset I didn't like."

44. "Beach daze always."

45. "Catch me by the sea."

46. "Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair." -Zac Brown Band

47. "Stay salty."

48. "Done adulating- let's be mermaids."

49. "Find me under the palm trees."

50. "Sea you soon."

51. "Hello sunshine."

52. "Don't mind me... I'm just chasing the sun."

Cover Image Credit: Jakob Owens // Unsplash

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10 Reasons The Beach Is The Happiest Place On Earth

"Only worry in the world, is the tide gonna reach my chair?"

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There's a reason that everyone vacations to the sandy shores and the salty water.

There's something about windblown hair, ocean waves crashing into land, and the sound of seagulls chirping overhead. There's something about seeing an endless landscape studded with artistry and grace.

There is no place on earth that is better than the beach - no place better for your body, your mind, and your soul.

So here's a comprehensive list of the simplest reasons why the beach is the happiest place on earth:

1. Physical relaxation

There's no better way to decompress than loosening your muscles and relaxing in a laid-back chair.

2. Mental relaxation

When you're having a stressful day, and you feel like you need to get away, go ahead and take a beach day!

3. Lots of Vitamin D

Believe it or not, the majority of people don't get adequate amounts of Vitamin D, so spending a day (or a week) on the beach is good for your health. (also... TAN!)

4. Skin exfoliation & joint relief

The salt in ocean water is great for healing cuts and scrapes, along with providing relief for achy joints and muscles.

5. Stunning views

Is there really anything prettier?

6. Different foods

"Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it." (Forrest Gump)

7. Exciting things to do 

Parasailing, mini golf, go-carts, jet skis, surfing... you can never run out of things to do!

8. Time away from technology

No better way to relax than laying down the screens and absorbing the sunlight and pretty scenery.

9. Different exercise options

When you wake up in the morning, you can do yoga by the water, you can run in the sand, or pretty much thing any other workout that you can imagine.

10. Stress-free environment

Nothing better. In the entire world.

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