My Home Away from Home
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My Home Away from Home

It's the one place where all your problems go away.

My Home Away from Home
Tessa Schaal

“Away is a place where it’s not about the money you spend. It’s about the moments you share.”

~ Anonymous

Camp has always been a big part of my life ever since I was little. I remember living across the street in a trailer while our camp was being built. Living in a trailer was nice and all, but I couldn’t wait to have a place of my own. Camp is also where the best memories are made whether it’s with family or friends. More importantly, it’s the one place where all of your problems go away.

Lake Bonaparte. That’s where my camp is. When I mention it to my friends they have no clue where it is because they’ve never heard of it. I secretly like that my friends don’t know where it is because in a way it makes it that much more special. Being at home and hanging out with my friends is nice and all, but sometimes you need to get away from them and just be with your family.

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Ever since I could remember my family and our closest friends would have our annual Camp Party. We would all gather, eat food, lots of it, dance, swim, tube, jet ski, have camp fires and more. I remember that at every Camp Party the kids would hear the story of “The Chicken Heart.” We would either be sitting at the campfire or in a room all together. It would be dark except for the light of a flashlight. All of the kids would be huddled together, anxiously waiting for the story to start. No matter how many times we’ve all heard the story, it never got old. And I know that that was everyone’s favorite part of our Camp Party.

Playing cards was always a tradition in my family, especially when we were at camp. And when it comes to games, my family is very competitive. I hate losing and if I was, I would throw a temper tantrum and quit, but it wouldn’t take long for me to come back and play again. Whenever we had company up or our friends came to visit from across the lake, we would instantly play cards, Griper as we like to call it. That game brings out the worst in people, simply because of it’s name. But no matter how much bickering and fussing, it was always a good time.

One of my favorite parts about going to camp was fishing, whether it was my dad and I or my dad, brother, and myself. We would always have a competition to see who could catch either the most fish or the biggest fish. I would usually win for the most fish but my dad and brother would argue that. I looked forward to fishing when it was just my dad and I because we didn’t even have to say anything to have a good time. Just being together doing something we both love was enough.

When something means so much to you and you have to let it go, that’s one of the hardest things anyone has to do. As the years went on and my brother and I grew older, my parents decided that the best thing to do for our family was sell our camp. I was in college and my brother was out, so going to camp as a family was pretty difficult to do. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and my dad telling us that we have to sell our camp. My stomach dropped and my heart skipped a beat. No more jet skiing, no more fishing, no more family gatherings or camp parties, no more getting away from reality. What was my whole childhood would now be gone. Hearing my dad say the words “I feel like I have failed you” were the most heartbreaking words I’ve heard come out of his mouth. He knew how much camp meant to his family and didn’t want to take away something that they love. I knew that he hadn’t failed us, he never could; he was making a decision that would be the best for his family.

“Away is a place where it’s not about the money you spend. It’s about the moments you share.”

Camp will always forever be a part of my heart. The memories I’ve had growing up and the people I’ve met along the way I will treasure forever. It was the one place where I was happy no matter what and no matter how many problems I had going on in my life, when I was there, it felt like at least one thing was right. It’s been four years since my family sold our camp and not a day goes by where I don’t miss it. I often think to myself what went wrong along the way and if there was anything I could have done to save it. But I know that everything happens for a reason, good or bad. Camp is just a house and a place to get away, but family is forever. And that, family, I would choose in a heartbeat because family is what matters the most.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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