hello, my friends!
here’s the promised post about the week i spent at one of my favorite places, summer camp. there are lots of photos, just a warning.
i may have mentioned at some point that i ran a 5k with my friend izzy the day before we left for camp. well, i got blisters on both of my heels from that. so keep in mind that while i was making my way around camp, i was limping and in pain and getting blood all over my socks. :)
« day one | sunday »
this is the second summer i’ve spent at camp. it’s for boy scouts, but they allow my scouting group, ahg, to use it for one week. it’s a few hours away from where i live, and i don’t really remember much of the drive up there. i do know that izzy and i spent a long time trying to tune this ukulele that is absolute trash. it’s red and plastic and sounds horrible.
when we got there, we had to go to the admin building to sign in, where we were given those blue wristbands that are impossible to get off. then we went to find our campsite. we stayed in newlon, just like last year.
i think i’ve complained about the tents before, but i’m going to do it again. they’re made of muddy green canvas with duct tape patches over the tears. they’re not waterproof at all, and if you don’t cover it with a tarp, you will be soaked by the storms. the corners of the tents are open and you have to bring your own rope to tie them closed with. the cots are uncomfortable and saggy and have questionable stains on them. you have to search the tent at night for bugs and squish them before you can go to bed. we found spiders, an egg sack, camel crickets, etc.
we shared a campsite with a troop that we made friends with last year. izzy and i were reunited with our pals beth and alex, which was really exciting. we had a campfire and s’mores that night and hung out with them then.one thing i love about making friends at summer camp is that they haven’t heard any rumors about you that might taint your image, and even if it’s been a year since you’ve seen them, you can pick up right where you left off like no time has passed at all.
our friend emily wasn’t there, and i was a bit disappointed about that. apparently she didn’t want to miss one week of swim practice. hopefully she’ll be there next year.
izzy and i picked a tent that was a few yards away from the rest of newlon. we called it our hermit tent.
once our unpacking was done, izzy and i headed down to the lake for the swim test.
i’ll be honest. i’m not that great of a swimmer. i thought i was going to die when i did it last year. in order to pass, you have to swim 75 yd. of a forward stroke, 25 yd. of elementary backstroke, and then float for awhile. it was much easier this year, though. i’m not sure why.
after the swim test, we headed up to eagle plaza. that’s where they do the morning and dinner flag ceremonies and make announcements before every meal. the announcements were long and dull and it was always hot outside.
the meals were served cafeteria-style. you would find a seat in the dining hall, wait for your table to be dismissed, make a mad dash for the kitchen, and stand in a line as long as the building.
and now i will complain about the food.
the soda machine kept breaking. i actually ate salad while i was there. they served unidentifiable canned fruit for nearly every meal. the juices flooded the plate and made the sandwiches soggy. the only time they made an effort to keep the sandwiches dry was when the parents came for dinner on the last night, and they wrapped them in foil. they gave us chicken biscuits for breakfast one day, and to make it slightly different from the chicken sandwiches we had eaten for lunch the day before, we were given little packets of jelly. JELLY. ON CHICKEN.
after dinner, a silkscreening station was set up, so we could make our own camp t-shirts. i got my mom to do mine for me, so i didn’t have to stand in line with over ninety girls.
need to check the weather at camp, but don’t have internet access? no problem. the overstreet weather rock has got you covered. according to the wise, all-seeing rock, it poured the entire night and my mom marched us up to the dining hall at one in the morning so we wouldn’t get electrocuted in our tent.
izzy read part of a book to me that night: heap house (the iremonger trilogy) // edward carey. it’s one of the most bizarre books i’ve ever read, but i enjoyed it quite a lot.
dark. darker than any coal hole i’ve ever seen, so little light from the clouds above. and cold with it, colder than any winter day when your breath makes thick clouds and the puddles have all iced over and it hurts to touch metal and you’re huddling and shivering though you’ve put so many layers on and you think you’ll never ever get warm again. colder than that. and hopeless, without any hope at all. and the feeling of being dead. of being lost from everyone. buried alive deep down and no one to know it. and the feeling of uselessness, of being broken and alone. in the cold darkness. that’s how i felt.
i’ve been put out, i thought.
i’ve been snuffed out.
i’m not alight any longer.
« day two | monday »
the next morning, we woke up incredibly early, when it was still dark. if you want to shower while at camp, you need to get up and into one of the stalls before the rest of the girls wake up, or else you are out of luck. i remember that last year, you could spend twenty minutes sitting in the 7 a.m. chill while waiting for a stall to open up. it took forever for the campers to get ready because they liked talking to each other while showering.
the newlon side of the bathhouse had freezing water. it was warmer to stand outside in the rain than to get in those showers. that’s why i only showered twice the entire week. i’m good at hygiene.
after breakfast, we went to our first class, fishing. then to shooting sports. then search, survival, and rescue, and then lunch. (i’ll be talking about the badge classes in another post.) we had a few hours of free time after that, which izzy and i spent walking around camp and taking photos.
we found this millipede by the newlon campsite. i think it’s a polydesmida, but i’m going to call it halloween.
there’s a bouldering wall that i’m actually quite good at. the most difficult bits are getting around the corners and this one stupid green fish handhold.
what a lovely face. 10/10.
to the waterfront.
we found this weird tree by the lake. it looks like a candy cane to me.
the dock in lake dillon.
where the boating equipment is stored.
this thing is called the wet willie. it gives you a wedgie.
this is the iceberg. they didn’t have it set up last year. getting your legs out of the water and into a handhold was the hardest part, but after that, it’s a fairly easy climb to the top, where you slide down the other side.
i was really excited to see the jellyfish in the lake, but i didn’t get a chance to canoe or paddle board out to where they are. i guess it didn’t really matter, since no one at camp had seen the jellyfish this year. they must have died.
« day three | tuesday »
the next day was the dutch over cook-off. izzy and i made a brownie cherry cobbler, adapted from this recipe. we practiced making it at home before camp, and it took us over three hours that time, so we made sure to start cooking it early. there were a few dads who had volunteered to cook the desserts for everyone, but my mom insisted that we make it, so it wouldn’t get burned like last time. (last year, we made a disgusting s’mores concoction. it was so hot that it melted a judge’s plastic spoon.)
the cobbler finished cooking just after dinner had started. we grabbed some food at the dining hall before following everyone back to the campsites for the judging. there were seven cobblers, i think: ours; a s’mores thing; chocolate, strawberry, and graham crackers; peach, cinnamon, and blueberries; and a few others that i don’t remember.
a lot of girls mentioned that they liked ours the best, without knowing we had made it. our friends were convinced that we were going to win. they didn’t announce the winner until the campfire on friday night. it was the chocolate strawberry one, which i didn’t actually think was that great. it was too dry, and the strawberry tasted like those weird candies that you never buy but somehow have anyway.
we had a cinematography class that day after dinner. i liked it quite a lot — all that camera stuff is fascinating to me — but everyone else said it was a bit boring. izzy actually fell asleep.
we’ll have to stop there, or else this will get way too long. but the next part is written and ready to go, so that will hopefully be up soon. and if you want to read about my camp experience from last year, click here.
have any of you been to a camp this summer? if you did, i’d love to hear your stories in the comments. :)