A Thank You Letter To My Sleep-Away Camp
Start writing a post
Student Life

A Thank You Letter To My Sleep-Away Camp

Thanks for making me... me.

125
A Thank You Letter To My Sleep-Away Camp
Facebook

For the first time in 10 years, I won't be getting on that coach bus that will take me away to a whole different world for seven weeks. For the first time in 10 years, I won't be living in a bunk with some of my best friends. I won't be waking up to the sound of the head counselor's voice and getting ready for line-up. I won't be walking up to the dining hall for the daily chicken and potatoes or chanting obnoxious chants that don't make sense to the outside world.

For the first time in 10 years, I won't be attending summer camp. And with a sad and heavy heart, I write this letter thanking that magical place for forever changing my world.

To my summer home,

First, I would like to thank you for giving me confidence. I learned that standing out and being different was cool. Being in that camp play or dressing up in weird outfits was the norm. You taught me to love myself despite my flaws.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635961921318472270-1453112659_tumblr_n8s1yk2VlN1rzgy8no1_400.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=163&h=a1fca272a22f9846d32ea7bce96366a7fdcef31414ad54c6d30f4aa2fc62a62a&size=980x&c=257422641 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635961921318472270-1453112659_tumblr_n8s1yk2VlN1rzgy8no1_400.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D163%26h%3Da1fca272a22f9846d32ea7bce96366a7fdcef31414ad54c6d30f4aa2fc62a62a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D257422641%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for teaching me how to interact with people without a computer or cell phone screen in between us. Thank you for teaching me the importance of communication and eye-contact. Maybe it's because of that lack of technology those seven weeks that your camp friends are your best friends.

At camp, if you like that boy, you tell him to his face and if you're mad at that person you can't hide behind the words you type. Surprisingly, it's much easier. So thank you for teaching me how to survive and thrive without technology.

Thank you for teaching me the meaning of responsibility. At camp, you don't have your mother or father to make your bed or keep the bunk clean -- that's on you. It was on you to change your sheets and do your laundry and do your daily job. Yes, we all complained through it all each and every day but did it nonetheless.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635961925570519536-2058166107_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=6&h=6370165b6b37787dff98bf2a41512992e2b9ba0aa8989bdfd0615937498e9bfc&size=980x&c=3342697547 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635961925570519536-2058166107_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D6%26h%3D6370165b6b37787dff98bf2a41512992e2b9ba0aa8989bdfd0615937498e9bfc%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3342697547%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for teaching me from a young age that it's OK to be away from home for a little. It has definitely made adjusting to college life easier. Going away to school is something that most kids aren't used to, but for us camp kids, it's just like camp but for 10 months instead of two.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F6359619276518453342091367723_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=342&h=c4da857e55ff952aabbfcf8dd855b4b1f4caa7757a216f99ecefbdb074c38881&size=980x&c=3674162123 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F6359619276518453342091367723_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D342%26h%3Dc4da857e55ff952aabbfcf8dd855b4b1f4caa7757a216f99ecefbdb074c38881%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3674162123%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for teaching me how to properly write and send a letter. There's was only one way to communicate with your parents and friends during those summers in the middle of nowhere and that was by writing letters. Now, I can pretty much write and send a letter in my sleep. Although email is big now, it's always good to go old school with some paper and pen sometimes.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635961932410510522-649727791_giphy-1.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=273&h=3e1489fef08b7b22546f617256c2c49df8e1addfb9cb23173fba8a48bf000de3&size=980x&c=3853521307 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635961932410510522-649727791_giphy-1.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D273%26h%3D3e1489fef08b7b22546f617256c2c49df8e1addfb9cb23173fba8a48bf000de3%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3853521307%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for giving me an abundance of pictures and videos to laugh at for months and even years after camp. There is nothing like looking at summer pictures and videos and reminiscing. Especially when you find that random memory that you completely forgot happened like dancing in the rain or wearing onesies to an evening activity.

And thank you for always giving me a story to tell, whether it be in school or to my friends. There are never enough camp stories -- well, if you ask anyone who went to camp, at least -- and the rest of the world gets pretty tired of those pretty fast.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635961936879241302187312601_bandcamp.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=321&h=f2738a6fcb9bc4d2fb0a3edf7d7e4d7e42b0a57f97b4f53297302c7d3a3e5080&size=980x&c=2393197387 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635961936879241302187312601_bandcamp.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D321%26h%3Df2738a6fcb9bc4d2fb0a3edf7d7e4d7e42b0a57f97b4f53297302c7d3a3e5080%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2393197387%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for helping me grow up. I may have started as that naive and shy 9-year-old, but I found myself at camp and found the person I was always meant to become.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635961938156102424556789647_Lion-King-Growing-Gif.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=417&h=e848fce09b43bcd188c60643c517e8aac0e405811ee28fc9cc8650e8daddcf48&size=980x&c=3769204904 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635961938156102424556789647_Lion-King-Growing-Gif.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D417%26h%3De848fce09b43bcd188c60643c517e8aac0e405811ee28fc9cc8650e8daddcf48%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3769204904%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for making songs personal and changing the words for sing. There is nothing in this world like when you hear one of your camp sing songs after camp and immediately start singing your version of the words. People may think you're crazy, but that's the best part.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F6359619399609893861402588401_tumblr_lqkc5g8gw51qemutco1_500.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=736&h=dff9456e1c4683e7cbf5b9c15425b6960ef73547d97dea7a006d8881698a380c&size=980x&c=1509804365 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F6359619399609893861402588401_tumblr_lqkc5g8gw51qemutco1_500.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D736%26h%3Ddff9456e1c4683e7cbf5b9c15425b6960ef73547d97dea7a006d8881698a380c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1509804365%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for teaching me how to live with other people. This comes especially in handy for living with a roommate in college. Sharing a space with one other person doesn't seem as scary when you've shared a space with about 14 other people.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635961950628012157-133865594_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=990&h=5ced332d21808e6de0622bc3d041d82b871e7033d2b069f4f9ee30db17007a6a&size=980x&c=2367937207 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635961950628012157-133865594_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D990%26h%3D5ced332d21808e6de0622bc3d041d82b871e7033d2b069f4f9ee30db17007a6a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2367937207%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for teaching me that some of the best memories are the small and seemingly insignificant ones.

Camp is compiled with small and random moments of laughing and crying and smiling over the frivolous things and those are the moments you think about later in life with a faint heart. It's the time you stayed up all night talking or the time you and your friends started a flash mob in the dining hall or the time you jumped into the pool in all of your clothing after winning that championship game.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F6359619549002574261279173752_6358894047826414701556977181_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=287&h=c63f28004c80d511c369c1481913c3f0a03629773b10e4c3e2bb28057f9f8862&size=980x&c=3234731607 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F6359619549002574261279173752_6358894047826414701556977181_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D287%26h%3Dc63f28004c80d511c369c1481913c3f0a03629773b10e4c3e2bb28057f9f8862%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3234731607%22%7D" expand=1]

Thank you for letting me mold my campers just as my counselors molded me. Thank you for letting me teach them those camp traditions and passing down all that was given to me.


[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635962032021493285891855691_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=143&h=5e0ebc95894a414266290d26cf62a651e4728d78001613e84993146e80891f78&size=980x&c=1859216254 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635962032021493285891855691_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D143%26h%3D5e0ebc95894a414266290d26cf62a651e4728d78001613e84993146e80891f78%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1859216254%22%7D" expand=1]

And most importantly, thank you for giving me a forever family.

Yes, I know you have your parents and grandparents and siblings but this is different. You're not bounded to these people by blood. This family bleeds a different set of colors. These people will never be simply strangers no matter where you go. They have loved you through every up and down and awkward stage even when they didn't have to. This is a different kind of family.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F635962034226631647-1420055007_635850171725129010-603413109_hugging.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=584&h=6a80073c7894a1bf558326d14b50933ec0df7813a50a64ffa0e69ad8c0b354d8&size=980x&c=1045142967 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F635962034226631647-1420055007_635850171725129010-603413109_hugging.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D584%26h%3D6a80073c7894a1bf558326d14b50933ec0df7813a50a64ffa0e69ad8c0b354d8%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1045142967%22%7D" expand=1]

You know feeling you get when you are sitting alone at the lake as the sun threatens to fall beneath the trees to lay to rest and the thick summer air thins just a bit and the water reaches a stand still like a sheet of ice? It is in this moment of time where you truly realize how short your time here is; how your childhood set with the sun and how everything that is becomes everything that once was.

This overwhelming feeling is suffocating yet freeing as there’s no way to go back in time to relive those moments yet remind you to savor those ahead. There is so much that fuels my passion for this place like every single piece of DNA that makes us who we are. But you can’t take out and expand each strand individually; you just know it’s there.

Ten years later and I don’t know if I can bring myself to walk away from something that has branded me to the bone nor if I am ready, but every chapter needs an ending so a new one can begin.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F04%2F14%2F6359620349140315581927681169_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=409&h=482a71b86c7f4a0dd9feee62c547c705b7aa0edd040c8e38fcae8ca87f11e518&size=980x&c=1058487186 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F04%252F14%252F6359620349140315581927681169_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D409%26h%3D482a71b86c7f4a0dd9feee62c547c705b7aa0edd040c8e38fcae8ca87f11e518%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1058487186%22%7D" expand=1]

I may never truly be ready to say goodbye, so for now, I am going to say thank you and see you later.

With much love,

1-2-3-4 WE WANT COLOR WAR

5-6-7-8 WE DON'T WANT TO WAIT

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

150 Words For Anyone Who Loves Football Games

Why I love high school football games, even though I don't like football.

916
Dallas News

When most think of high school they think of friend drama, parties, getting your drivers license, and best of all foot ball games.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

10 Greatest Speeches In Modern American History

The United States is a relatively infantile nation, but its legacy of spoken rhetoric is one of the richest in the world.

3507
flickr

Rhetoric, in all its forms, arrives under the scrutiny of historians both for its historical impact and literary value. Dozens of speeches have either rallied the nation together or driven it drastically apart –– the impact of speeches in politics, social movements, and wars is undeniable.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

What If The U.N. Actually United The Nations?

This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.

4334
Unsplash

By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

4631
Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them
    Featured

    The Basics Of The United Nations

    As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101

    3279
    WikiMedia

    For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.

    Keep Reading... Show less

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Facebook Comments