hello everybody! it’s been a long time since i last posted and i am here to explain why.
my summer has been a whirlwind. i got a job as a handicraft instructor at a boy scout camp (aka my favorite place on earth) and was there for seven and a half weeks: half a week for training, six on staff, and one as a camper with my AHG troop. then band camp started the week i got back from work. so i’ve been super busy and haven’t gotten a chance to post anything because of how insane my schedule has been. now that camp is over and i actually have a stable wifi connection again, i’m hoping to get back to posting regularly.
now it’s time for some general life updates, i.e. what have i been doing recently besides camp?
– as i just mentioned, i had a summer job working at a boy scout camp! i miss it so so much. there are so many things i miss that i didn’t think i would, like the food and heat and uniforms. and then there are the obvious things, like my friends and the handicraft area and the surprisingly entertaining campers.
i taught an assortment of badges at handicraft, including space exploration, fingerprinting, pottery, basketry, indian lore, and art. i didn’t know much about the merit badges or the BSA going in, so i pretty much winged all my classes. we did stuff like nature journaling hikes and wrestling and launching rockets.
i’m absolutely working at camp again next year, and i’m planning on helping at winter camp and spring break camp, too. mostly for the free staff shirts they hand out to volunteers, but also because i love that place and i love my camp friends.
i’ll try to make a separate post about camp because this has been the best summer of my life so far and i want to remember it by writing everything down.
– i got a phone earlier this summer! and then managed to completely shatter the screen three weeks later in the Great Apple Pie Incident of 2019. i got it fixed but now nobody trusts me with my phone, or with fruity desserts.
– in my scouting group (american heritage girls), there are level awards that you can earn for every rank. i’m working on the last level award right now, the dolley madison, and one of the things i need to do is put fifteen hours into planning and hosting an event/service project.
my project is painting a music-themed mural outside my school’s band room. i started working on it this week and i think it’s coming along pretty well. it’s going to have a list of previous band directors, the notes to our fight song, and little musicians in keith haring’s art style. i was hoping to have it finished by the time school starts, but that’s next week, so it probably won’t happen.
– this is my second year doing marching band, but it’s been such a different experience. i played in pit last season; this time i’m marching bass in the drumline. so i’m learning how to crabstep and do visuals and memorize drill, which is all very new and confusing. also, i had to miss one week of band camp because of scout camp, and that’s the week they worked on drill to the opener. i had to speed learn most of that movement earlier this week and it was exhausting. and then after i had gotten all of it down, we found out that our low battery captain has to switch schools, so our drill and music has to be rewritten for the third time.
our show this year is paranormal-themed, which i am ridiculously excited about. i’m also thrilled that i got into drumline this season, and i can’t wait to see friends from other bands at competitions. so while this season is already super stressful, i think it will be worth it.
– i used to make friendship bracelets all the time, and this summer i taught myself how to do it again. i can make really complicated patterns, like the watermelon one that took days to finish. i’m working on a really neat starry night bracelet now.
i call them bracelets, but i always, always wear them as anklets. i wish i could wear them on my wrist because that would show them off better, but i can’t stop messing with them if they’re there.
would anyone be interested in some bracelet tutorials?
– i go back to school on tuesday and i am really not ready. in case anyone doesn’t know, i was homeschooled for most of my life and this is going to be my second year of public school ever. last year was really hard because everything was new, so i’m hoping this time things will be a little bit easier.
other than the basic classes (english, math, history, gym), i’m taking horticulture, bio II honors (anatomy + physiology), spanish III, and biotechnology. i’m looking forward to the science and agriculture classes a lot. horticulture because plants are neato; bio II because i’m hoping to go into EMS when i’m older.
so that’s what my life has looked like recently! i’ve got a bunch of almost completed posts hanging out on my draft list, so some normal content (or as normal as my stuff can get) should be coming your way soon.
my summer has been absolutely amazing, but i’ve also missed this blogging community, and i’m happy to be back.
the annual summer camp post is finally here! this was absolutely the most interesting year so far, and i’m so excited to tell you guys about it.
i’ve been going to this camp for the past three years. it’s a boy scout camp that my scouting group, american heritage girls, gets to use for one week in august. it’s also the camp that i worked at as a CIT this summer.
the badges i took this year were pen & paper arts, creative crafts, boating safety, and outdoor cooking. my bff izzy and i were in all the same classes, and i was already friends with the counselors, so it was pretty fun.
pen & paper arts was taught by mary, who worked at outdoor skills during the boy scout camp and helped at the health lodge. we did origami, paper weaving, calligraphy, etc.
we were supposed to make something in the style of an illuminated manuscript, and this is what i made. it’s lyrics from peach // the front bottoms. i was originally planning on adding more drawings to the borders, but i decided that i didn’t care enough.
i created a stencil of a rocket and made this with it.
we tried suminagashi (paper marbling with water and ink, although we used paint) and mine turned out alright for a first try.
mary taught outdoor cooking, too. that day, we made all our meals in the class. most of the food didn’t turn out that well, and it took forever to get our fire started in the morning. it would’ve been fine if the other scouts actually listened to my tips, because i’m really good at making fires, but no such luck. they kept pushing the sticks i gathered out of the fire pit and telling me that i was building it wrong. i only got the fire going once most of the girls had drifted away to work with the food and i could do what i needed to.
jordan taught creative crafts at the handicraft lodge. he’s one of my favorite people at camp, and he’s going to college in my town, so that’s exciting. anyway, he showed us how to make clay pots and use a potter’s wheel, weave baskets, dye and stamp leather, and make gimp braids. while i loved his class, he didn’t get us anywhere close to earning our badge. i don’t think we even completed an entire requirement. i love jordan, but come on.
here are some pictures of stuff that i made in the class.
a calligraphy/watercolor disaster. i strongly believe that it’s the worst thing i’ve ever made, but i have no dignity left, so i’m going to share it with all of you.
boating safety was probably my favorite badge. we got to use rowboats, sailboats, and paddle boards. when we weren’t on the water, we were learning knots and how to radio for help and first aid.
i was signed up for an all-day hike on friday, but i hurt my ankle during a 5k the day before camp started, so i switched out of that. i ended up taking a waterfront survival class that was basically just lifegaurding stuff. i actually really enjoyed it, and it helped me get my swimming badge.
at one point, we were doing rescues with a pole, and a girl accidentally kicked the one i was using into the lake. (i got the blame, of course.) one of the staffers slid another pole down the dock to me, but he overshot and that one went into the lake, too, so we were out of poles.
i got to meet up with old camp friends, which was probably the best part. beth was there, and we’ve been friends since my first year at camp. this year, we figured out that our real names are super similar (i’m loren, she’s laura, and we have the same middle name), and she hosted a “talk show” every night. we used a flashlight shining through a water bottle as a microphone, and we asked each other really dumb questions, the best of which was simply “eeg?” the number of imaginary listeners went up each night, but it started with just the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and her mom.
the other friend i was reunited with was rachel. she was there my first year of camp, missed the second, but came again this time. i love her so much, she’s kind of my other half. she likes the same music as me, has a dark sense of humor, and a rebellious streak. it’s surprising because she goes to an all-girls catholic boarding school, and that doesn’t fit her at all.
some shenanigans my friends and i got up to:
– rachel and i were hanging out in the deserted gaga ball pit at night, and we decided to make a bet. she thought her mom would come by soon and tell us that it was late and we should get to bed. her mom did show up a few minutes later, and she did comment on how late it was getting, but she never told us to go to bed, so i won. rachel was supposed to buy me food from the trading post, but it was closed, so she promised to do it next year instead.
– rachel and i were hanging out in the dining hall one night when we saw an entire apple pie on one of the tables. i love this camp’s apple pie, and i hadn’t gotten any for dinner that night. the pie didn’t seem to belong to anyone, so we took it and two spoons and went down to the fishing dock to eat it. we talked about mothman while we ate. it was honestly kind of magical.
– another girl i hung out with was paetyn. she probably hated me by the end of the week, because rachel and i sort of terrorized her during meals. we would select a piece of food, make it as awful as possible, and then get her to eat a bite (rachel and i usually tasted it, too). the worsts things we created, in my opinion, included a breakfast of powerade, instant oatmeal, ketchup, a hardboiled egg, and mustard in a cup, and a dinner of an already nasty BBQ sandwich, a raisin cookie, hot sauce, and cheetos, all doused in blue powerade. the staff actually encouraged it, which was maybe the funniest part. the boating instructor gave me the hot sauce to put on her sandwich.
– some of my friends and i were going down to the waterfront one evening when we found a pale green caterpillar outside the tent i shared with izzy. paetyn decided to kill it. she built a tiny cabin of sticks around it, used a chip as a fire starter, and burned the whole thing. it was really pretty cruel, but by that point, the caterpillar was in such bad shape it just seemed kinder to finish the job. once it was dead, we named the caterpillar kathryn and carried him down to the lake for a funeral. paetyn placed him on a lily pad and set that on fire, too. i gave a speech that was honestly quite touching and shed a tear or two. rest in peace, kathryn the caterpillar, you are missed.
– waterfront games is absolutely my least favorite part of camp. it was even worse this year because i couldn’t participate at all thanks to my sprained ankle. i guess beth and rachel hated it too, because they suggested we bail and go investigate the graffiti in the boys’ bathroom at the dining hall. i didn’t want to vandalize anything in case it affected my chances of getting hired again, but rachel wrote “celery” in one of the stalls.
i really enjoyed the friday night campfire this year. the skits were terrible as always, but i loved watching my friends make fools out of themselves. i ended up having to embarrass myself too, though. the girls who took the search, survival, and rescue class had stolen my campsite’s flag and the patriots had to do the chicken dance to get it back.
(now, listen. that was technically against the camp’s rules. dancing/singing to retrieve belongings falls under hazing, which is prohibited, but i guess i’m the only one who knew that.)
the camp had a patch design contest for scouts this year. guess who won? :) i spent maybe an hour working on it the day of the deadline. it’s inspired by the totem poles at the camp’s entrance. it’s not that great, but it looks pretty dang good as a patch. and jordan told me that the staff was super proud of me for winning, so that was nice.
i’d lost my water bottle earlier that day (it was in the health lodge’s freezer, but i didn’t know that then), and by the time the campfire was over, i was ridiculously thirsty. the only water nearby was in the lake. so i got a cup from paetyn’s brother (he was on the staff and had been wearing a stack on his head) and just drank some of the lake water. it was honestly not that bad. a little warm and gritty, sure, but it was too dark to see the color, so it was alright. jordan noticed when i was on my second sip and sort of lost his mind. he screamed and slapped the cup out of my hands so it splashed all over us. it’s nice to know that he cared, but it was kind of rude.
every year after the campfire, there’s a sleeping under the stars event at the dining hall. and, every year, it rains and everyone spends the night inside instead. we watch a movie and the kitchen staff make us snacks and set out all the desserts that didn’t get eaten over the summer. we watched the lego movie this time, and when everything is awesome started playing, everyone sang along. it was kind of amazing. i love my generation.
the trading post was apparently giving out free slushies that night, and beth made me go with her to get one. unfortunately, they had just closed the store when we got there. but when they noticed it was me, they let us both in and we hung out with the staff for awhile. i know it didn’t matter that much, but it gave me the most wonderful feeling. i guess i realized that i had friends there who would bend the rules a little for me even though i wasn’t on staff that week.
i saved the most exciting adventure for last! tuesday morning, my sprained ankle was bothering me so much that i went to get ibuprofen from the health officer. i mean, it hurt so much that i woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, and i was limping so bad i could barely get anywhere. anyway, i had a rough experience with pills when i was younger, so i’ve avoided them ever since. but pills were the only form of ibuprofen the health officer had, and i was willing to take them if it meant the pain would be more bearable.
i took the pills, and they helped a bit, so i went and got some more that afternoon. things were going alright until that evening, when my chest started to feel tight and it became hard to breathe and swallow. it seemed like an allergic reaction, but i’d never had one before, so i wasn’t sure. then i realized that it could be the effects of an overdose. the health officer had given me three pills that afternoon, which i was quite sure was too much medication for someone my size.
i figured the symptoms would go away eventually, so i tried to ignore it, but eventually it became so bad that i went and found the health officer again. he checked my oxygen levels and apparently they were lower than normal, and he said my throat was swollen. he decided to call an ambulance, and i ended up having to go to the ER. the EMTs gave me oxygen on the drive there, and when i got there i had to take more pills to help me breathe. i didn’t get back to camp until two in the morning.
it’s really going to suck it i’m actually allergic to ibuprofen. i’m an athlete, what am i going to do if i get injured during a game and can’t have any pain killer?
the health officer had to give me more oxygen later that week. i don’t know. that’s not really how i wanted camp to go, but it was certainly eventful, to say the least.
i wish i had more pictures of camp to use in this post, but there was a new rule this year asking that no one share photos of the scouts. i didn’t bring my good camera because of that, so the only pictures i have were taken on my ipod (which i wasn’t even supposed to have with me).
(i decided to combine my april and may memoirs. if i hadn’t, both posts would have been really short.)
documenting a month through poems and journal entries and song lyrics so it doesn’t get lost in the gray fog that is my life.
i. so, look, i don’t know how to say this, but i was lying when i told you i didn’t know if i was still in love with you. i just don’t know what to do and it feels like my ribcage is going to crack open if i don’t say something soon. i don’t want perfect dates and cliché romance, i just want real, messy love, but i’m afraid that no matter how much i want it, this is not going to work.
ii. tonight my heart’s on the loose. talk myself out of feeling, talk myself out of control. talk myself out of falling in love, falling in love with you. (oh love // green day)
iii. it’s not fair! god, it’s not fair, how i could have lived anywhere in the world and i got stuck in the mountains with someone i will love forever from the background. this forsaken town aches because your name is plastered across every billboard, and even though it’s killing me to stay, i am too stubborn to leave.
iv. i’m talking to the ceiling. my life just lost all meaning. do one thing for me tonight, i’m dying in this silence. the last star left in heaven is falling down to earth, and . . . do you still feel the same way? (here’s your letter // blink-182)
v. here is my question for you: when will you stop hurting me? again and again, you appear in my life just to slip out without a word the next day. you take a shard of my heart every time you go; the unsaid goodbyes are eating me alive. i’ve had my heart broken by you enough times that there is not much left of me.
vi. weep for yourself, my man, you’ll never be what is in your heart. weep, little lion man, you’re not as brave as you were at the start. rate yourself and rake yourself; take all the courage you have left and waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head. (little lion man // mumford & sons)
vii. so you can’t see me tonight; so you still can’t look me in the eyes. you may not be able to do everything, but i’m begging you — give me time to heal before you say “hello and i’m sorry” for the hundredth time.
viii. remember all those countless nights when i told you i loved you? and to never forget it — oh, just forget it! (your graduation // modern baseball)
ix. i am so upset that no one believes me! what will it take to make anyone care? i will have to be covered in my own blood with a split lip and broken nose before someone decides i am worthy of their help.
x. i want you to stop insisting that i’m not a lost cause, ’cause i’ve been through a lot. really all i’ve got is just to stay pissed off, if it’s alright by you. (rose-colored boy // paramore)
xi. why do you have to grin at me like that when i talk? you’re making me lose my train of thought.
i am going to miss you and the smell of cut grass and the dandelions tucked into your curls so much over the lonely summer months.
xii. it was summer when i saw your face, looked like a teenage runaway. oh god, i never thought we’d take it that far. some killer queen you are. (rollercoaster // bleachers)
xiii. i am sitting on top of a hill at night. lights from houses blink below us like fireflies. us — someone is crouched beside me, holding my hand. who are you?
blood, blood, dripping all over me, from my chest. an angel with sunkissed skin, blonde hair, and no wings climbs the hill and sits by my feet. his voice is soft, his fingers warm as they dip into the blood. softly, warmly, gently — i am going to hell.
xiv. i have this dream that i am hitting my dad with a baseball bat, and he is screaming and crying for help. and maybe halfway through, it has more to do with me killing him than it ever did with protecting myself. (father // the front bottoms)
xv. it makes me so sad that after seven months, we were finally in the same place at the same time, and i didn’t even say hello. i guess the timing just didn’t work out. it never seems to, for the two of us. please forgive me.
xvi. we’re alike, you and i. two blue hearts locked in our wrong minds. so can we make the most out of no time? can you hold me? can you make me leave my demons and my broken pieces behind? (WILD // troye sivan)
other songs to listen to:
not warriors // waterparks
still be around // a summer high
my my my! // troye sivan
i want to hold your hand // the beatles
the faster the treadmill // i fight dragons never fall in love // jack antonoff, MØ
love me // the 1975 that girl // all time low
fake happy // paramore stay the night // green day
HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T // fall out boy
don’t come down // the maine dumpweed // blink-182
am i pretty? // the maine
when you see my friends // mayday parade
– my last soccer game is tomorrow, and i’m probably more sad about that than i should be. but my team this season is the best one i’ve ever played with. (or my favorite, anyway.) i’ve made friends with some guys i’ll be going to school with, and i think i’ve become a much better player, thanks to my amazing coach. i’ll definitely miss my team (oddly named kfc/kfbees) over the summer, but i think most of us are coming back for the fall season.
– me, my brother, and a few of our friends hung out at a bubble tea café one night. we watched shrek and played this really disturbing card game called exploding kittens. anyway, i know bubble tea is a trend right now, but i think it’s really gross? the drink i got was called orange green tea, i think, and while that tasted pretty good, i nearly threw up when i ate one of the bubbles. i strongly believe that that’s what an eyeball would taste like.
– last year, my friend izzy and i started working on the fishing badge at summer camp. since we weren’t allowed to keep the fish we caught at the lake, we weren’t able to complete the last requirement, which is to gut a fish. fortunately, my dad is a fisherman, so he brought us two fish and we cleaned them in the parking lot after soccer practice. it was really disgusting because they still had eyes, and mine bled more than izzy’s. still, i’m glad i finally have my badge. :)
– to earn our ahg level awards, another girl and i hosted a badge workshop. we met up at a park one morning and helped some of the younger members earn their nature & wildlife badge. we taught them about native animals, did a birdfeeder craft, took a short hike, identified edible plants, picked up trash, etc., all in one hour. it was actually quite fun, and i guess i enjoy working with kids? who knew.
the second part of my adventures at summer camp is here!! make sure to read part one here.
« day four | wednesday »
there was an enormous tulip-tree moth at the dining hall the next morning.
there were waterfront games that night. each campsite entered girls into the competitions, such as climbing the iceberg, relays, the rubber ducky race, swamping a canoe, etc. the only one i was in was the canoe swamp. all i had to do was sit in it, squished up against other girls, until the canoe got too heavy and filled with water.
newlon won the aquatic games. :D
for the search, survival, and rescue badge, we had to spend wednesday night sleeping in the woods in makeshift shelters. the one izzy and i made looked a bit like this, but shorter. so after the waterfront games, we changed into dry clothes and headed off to where we had built our shelters earlier that day. sleeping in the woods was a little bit awful and a little bit insanely exciting.
we took a night hike out to indian point, a peninsula in the lake. i laid in the dewy grass and watched the sky and the lights reflecting off the water while our leader talked about stars. then we went back to our shelters and started a tiny fire with flint and steel.
a normal exchange between izzy and apollo that night:
me: you know those baby pictures, where you can see the baby’s feet, and the parents’ feet are on either side?
izzy: i guess.
me, patting a pack of uno cards on the ground between us: this is the baby.
izzy: stop being weird.
me: i’m not being weird!
alex, our leader, in the distance: shut up and go to sleep!
« day five | thursday »
the next morning, we tore down our shelters and went back to the newlon campsite as soon as it was light. most of us went directly to the showers. and that, my friends, was the last shower i had at camp. :)
the evening vespers was that day. we met at a tiny chapel, where the pastor talked about what it means to serve God and others.
so do not fear, for i am with you;
do not be dismayed, for i am your God.
i will strengthen you and help you;
i will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
all who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.
those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.
for i am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear;
i will help you.
isaiah 41: 10-13
there was a campfire that night. one of the leaders always saves the ashes and uses them in the fire the next year. he said that there’s over one hundred years of scouting history in the ashes.
they had tons of s’mores supplies for us to use, including giant marshmallows and candy bars. s’mores are delicious.
for entertainment, the campers sang, told jokes, did skits, etc. our friend bella taught us the rooster song, which is probably the greatest camp song i’ve ever heard.
i had a chicken
but no eggs it laid
i had a chicken
but no eggs it laid
until that rooster
came in my yard
and caught my chicken
completely off guard
we’re having omelets
we never used to
until that rooster came in my yard
we’re having omelets
we never used to
until that rooster came in my yard
look it up on youtube so you can hear the rest, it’s such a thought-provoking song.
« day six | friday »
friday was our last full day at camp, and i got a few cute pictures of the friends i made.
lily & bella.
parents were allowed to visit camp that evening for dinner, another fire, and a talent show.
the audition skit.
F.U.N. song on an electric ukulele.
F is for friends who do stuff together
U is for ukuele
N is for nose picking, sharing gum and sand licking
here with my best buddy
every year, this troop rewrites a taylor swift song to be about that week of camp. this year’s was the song trouble.
i’ve got my ticket for the long way ‘round the one with the prettiest of views it’s got mountains, it’s got rivers, it’s got sights to give you shivers but it sure would be prettier with you
cups // anna kendrick
it’s a lie, it’s a lie. ships ahoy, ships ahey, ships a hi-hi-hi!
oh, i’ve sailed the seven seas and i’ve sniffed the salty breeze,
but i never, ever, ever saw a mermaid.
there was supposed to be a meteor shower that night, and a lot of the girls were going to sleep on the plaza and watch the sky. but it started pouring, so we camped out in the dining hall instead.
leftover s’mores supplies were laid out on the one of the tables, and my brilliant friends decided to do the chubby bunny challenge. they were not very good at it.
it was a rather nice night, really. there weren’t many girls on sugar highs this year. the cook made calzones for our midnight snack and we watched the secret life of pets. i wasn’t really paying much attention to the movie. i was too busy drawing a girl named mary and cuddling with my friend brie and listening to her talk in a southern accent. she kept mentioning how tiny and what a great cuddle buddy i am, and she tried to take me home with her the next day.
izzy and i stayed in the dining hall until about 1:30 a.m., when we left to sleep in our own tent.
« day seven | saturday »
and then, of course, the saddest part of camp: the day everyone goes home and you don’t hear from each other until the next year.
someone told us that the trading post was giving out free slushies, so izzy and i stopped there on our way to breakfast. being polite and grammatically correct, i asked the staffer, david, “may i have a cherry slushie?”
and what did he say?
“no, you may not.”
he was laughing until he saw my expression. hurriedly assuring me that he was joking, muttering to himself that he thought i had been going to punch him, david gave me my cherry slushie. :)
i had been eyeing a pocket knife all week. it was one of those pretty rainbow ones. the guy at the trading post refused to sell it to me, because he overheard a conversation with izzy that went something like this:
“ooh, izzy, look at that rainbow knife! you can murder your enemies with sparkles and joy!!”
apparently, he didn’t trust me not to stab someone. fair enough. i eventually convinced my mom to go buy it for me, but it was sold out by that time. maybe next year.
breakfast that day was soggy mini powdered donuts and apples. we exchanged email addresses and social media usernames with our friends, and then izzy and i were on our way back home. i think we both slept most of the way.
i got a new totem necklace from the trading post! last year, i got one with a white tiger charm, and my 2017 animal friend is a spider.
according to the slips of paper that came with the necklaces, the “attributes of TIGER include: passion, strength, stealth, adventurous, spirit, unpredictable, self-control, independence, charisma, valor, intuition, devotion and solidarity.” “SPIDER characteristics include: patience, infinity, creativity, artistic expression, and the web of destiny.”
after returning home from an exhausting week away, most normal people would crash and relax/nap for the rest of the day. but, as we all know, i am not a normal person. so what did i do instead of resting? something slightly crazy and borderline extroverted. my friend’s birthday party was that day, which i didn’t know about until i got home. i had to take a super quick shower and go meet up with my friend, because her family was nearby getting kittens. i spent the rest of the day with her, trying to make fondue for her cake. no rest for the weary. :’)
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. :)