A Thank You Letter To My Sleep-Away Camp
Entertainment

A Thank You Letter To My Sleep-Away Camp

Thanks for making me... me.

117
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxIKdnMHcGr/

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments