you look like hell | 7.20.18

this was taken the day before

q: what defines you?

a: july 20, 2018. it was a friday
& the end of week five.

q: what happened?

a: i told the truth.

q: you’re sure?

a: the truth burned everything to the ground.
those ashes are not made from lies.

q: what else happened ?

a: i cried like the world was ending.

q: was it?

a: sometimes it feels like time stopped
& everything past that day is a nightmare.

q: who else was there?

a: no one who is here now.

q: what happened to them?

a: time kept turning for them
& they moved with it.
i am alone now with the memories.

q: do you dream about it?

a: all day & all night.
it is in my bones & my veins & my mind.

q: what do you remember?

a: i remember everything;
i wish to remember nothing.

q: can you give me some details?

a: he told me that i looked like hell.
i couldn’t stop retching.

q: what else?

a: there was blood on my shirt
& in my mouth. it wasn’t mine.

q: whose blood was it?

a: . . .

q: were you hurt?

a: there were bruises around my neck
& knife wounds on my hands.

q: did they leave scars?

a: they blend in with the heart line on my palm.
sometimes i get phantom pains.

q: who hurt you?

a: that’s what they wanted to know.

q: what would you change about that day?

a: i would have never answered the phone.

q: who called?

a: the wrong one.
i could smell him through the phone:
strawberry smoke & disinfectant.

q: who was supposed to call?

a: he was in arizona. i think he was drunk.
it’s not fair. i needed his help
& he was in the desert.

q: let me circle back.
you’re sure you told the truth?

a: i believed everything that i said.

q: that’s not an answer.

a: everyone thinks i’m a liar.

q: are you?

a: i don’t know.

q: where’s your conviction?

a: i’m sorry.
i feel sick when i think about it too much.

xo apollo

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my winter camp 2019 experience

hey!

i spent a long weekend last month working at that boy scout camp that i’m constantly talking about. (so, yes, this is another camp post, as if i don’t post enough about that place already.) staffing at winter camp was wildly different from my experiences there last summer. i thought i’d share my ordeal with you all, because how often do you get to learn about what really goes on at a scout camp?


packing list for winter camp:

– as many blankets as you can fit in your bag. it will be freezing and the heaters won’t work.

– wool socks, gloves, and a thick coat that makes you feel like a marshmallow. despite all those layers, you won’t ever be warm enough.

– a journal, to keep track of the health officers’ phone numbers and last minute lesson plans.

– don’t bother with showering supplies, because the camp will be winterized and there won’t be a lot of running water. just bring dry shampoo and deodorant instead.

– lots of snacks. the kitchen staff are stingy. they’ll give you two hash browns for breakfast and act surprised when they find you eating lucky charms in the back.

– water bottles. there’s no running water, remember?

– tea bags. preferably a kind with lots and lots of caffeine in it. you will not get nearly enough sleep to function without the help of tea or coffee.

– a knife, a lighter/matches, painkillers, and lip balm. be prepared.


| friday |

just getting to camp in the first place was tricky business. staff was asked to arrive at three in the afternoon, there was supposed to be a one o’clock dismissal that day, and it’s about a two hour drive to get there. so, time was a bit tight, but if i left immediately after school, it should have worked out. but then the school decided to let out at three instead of one. which is, you know, a bit inconvenient.

i ended up leaving school early, then going home to finish packing. because despite planning on staffing at winter camp since august, i still waited until the very last minute to find all my stuff. and i had a lot of stuff: three bag fulls, in fact. one backpack stuffed with things like books and snacks, a smallish duffle bag filled with typical going-away-for-the-weekend things, and then an enormous bag my mom forced me to take. she packed that one for me, and it contained lots of useless, bulky snow gear.

on the way there, i read love & gelato and listened to billy joel’s greatest hits on repeat. i’ve made that drive so often that the two hours doesn’t feel like anything. i just look out the window at familiar landmarks, i blink, and we’re there. amazing, really.

the camp has two sides: the boy scout side, which is where i go to summer camp and where i hope to work this year (i sent in my application a week or two ago . . . wish me luck), and the cub side. it blows my mind a little that i’ve been going there for three years, and i’ve never seen cub camp before.

anyway, once we arrived, i checked in and picked up my staff hoodie. it’s a lovely blue, so warm, and a huge improvement from the disgusting highlighter-yellow t-shirts from last summer. then my mom and i drove all the way to the other side and dropped my stuff of at a staff cabin. the cabins there are really more like plywood sheds, and there was a tiny heater on the floor — really cozy, you know?

and here’s where things get fun. as i was walking back to the main road from staff site, i heard our health officer talking on the phone with someone from admin (this health officer is yanni, the one who made me overdose last summer. i love him). he was complaining about the sink not working in the health lodge, and as he was talking, i spotted a line of port-a-potties beside the road. so, basically: there was just about no running water in the camp. there were a few working bathrooms on cub side, and the sinks at the STEM center functioned some of the time, but the only shower was at admin.

it wasn’t a great way to start the weekend. not being able to shower makes me a little panicky inside for some reason. i really did want to go home then and there, but of course my mom wasn’t going to allow that, so i just thanked God that i don’t sweat.


good things that happened on friday:

– i was reunited with some friends from last summer!! most of the staff are in college, and i assumed  a lot of them wouldn’t be at winter camp because they’d busy with exams or whatever. but most of them made it, so i spent the weekend hanging out with kaitlyn (aka my camp mom), jordan (handicraft director), john (nature director), and brie (friend from ahg camp who works on cub side). it was so wonderful to see them again and i miss them all so much already.

– brie went out to dinner instead of eating camp food (a very wise decision), and she brought me lo mein with tofu!!

– had a wild conversation with kaitlyn and john about how many staffers are gay. apparently, the answer is at least half. i love scout camp.

| saturday |

the next morning, i had to be at the dining hall on cub side by 7 a.m. to help serve breakfast. i got up at 5 o’clock every morning and walked a mile in the cold just to stand around in the kitchen for two hours and dish out a meal that i couldn’t eat while wearing a ridiculous paper hat. the only thing that made it bearable was the classic rock blasting from a speaker. i must have heard jessie’s girl twenty times that weekend.

after an appetizing breakfast consisting of a single dry biscuit, i headed over to the STEM center to help kaitlyn teach programming. i say “teach,” but really i just wrote lines of code on the whiteboard, because i have no idea how to help boys program games and calculators into java.

we had a campfire in the dining hall that night. this particular campfire involved no flames, and i couldn’t see or hear the skits, and it was all around  a little miserable. just before it started, i had spotted someone for last summer, someone who i associate really awful memories with, and i don’t know. i just freaked out. i couldn’t keep still; i kept pacing and fidgeting and i felt like the air was too warm and i couldn’t breathe properly.

i decided to wash my hair that night. i tossed a tiny bottle of shampoo into my backpack and hiked from my cabin to STEM at one in the morning. i have to say, there’s something about washing your hair in a dirty sink during the witching hour, while listening to rain on a metal roof, that is strangely poetic to me.

| sunday |

after another half-awake morning in the kitchen, i helped jordan with space exploration, otherwise known as my favorite merit badge ever. we headed into the dining hall armed with boxes of rockets and hot glue guns. it took ALL MORNING for the campers to get their rockets together, which made me desperately miss my friend scout, because he is a genius and can put one of those kits together in ten minutes flat.

eventually, the rockets were ready to launch, so we took them into the field outside and shot them off one at a time. it must have taken at least an hour. it was windy, and i was starving (i’d been living off of hot tea and vanilla pudding, which isn’t that filling), and my jacket was back in my cabin so i was cold, too. i ended up taking jordan’s coat, which helped some, but still. my only joy was using the C engines. those bad boys sent some rockets all the way to the other side.

Related image
this is a blue card. they are a pain and take forever to fill out.

afterwards, jordan proceeded to make me crouch in the mud while he signed at least twenty blue cards on my back. because, you know, what else is support staff good for?

that night, i moved into a cabin with kaitlyn and brie on cub side. that wasn’t strictly allowed, but i likely would have frozen to death if i hadn’t. it got down into the single digits that night, and had only warmed up to fourteen degrees by 7 a.m. the next morning. there was no chance of me walking a mile to breakfast in that kind of weather.

| monday |

when i was trekking up to the dining hall that morning, i paused in the middle of the icy road to gaze at the moon. the lunar eclipse had taken place over the night, and the super blood moon was still hanging in the sky, tinted red. there was a colorful ring around it that looked just like a lens flare.

they didn’t need help with breakfast that morning, and no one had bothered to tell me, so i made some hot tea in the dining hall and hurried back to the cabin. i curled up next to the heater and got a few more much needed hours of sleep.

kaitlyn and i were teaching the mammal study badge in the nature lodge that day. unfortunately, kaitlyn had procrastinated writing a lesson plan, and we also had no idea where the nature lodge was on the cub side. we ended up wandering around the camp while the freezing wind got under our skin until we got brie to give us directions over the phone.

the nature lodge was conveniently all the way on the outskirts of the camp. we passed some enormous red yurts tucked away in the trees and i started fangirling. that’s really the only way to describe it. i’d read about the yurts on the camp’s website, but i’d never seen them before. they were so cool!! i didn’t go inside any of them, but still. i love those yurts.

mammal studies was a little bit miserable. the lodge’s heater didn’t work at all, the scouts wouldn’t listen to me, kaitlyn and i weren’t prepared, etc. it was such a relief when we finished early. if i’d been out there much longer, i think i would have turned into a popsicle. as it was, i couldn’t feel my hands until at least an hour later, despite hanging out in the heated dining hall with a cup of hot tea.

my friends cleared out shortly after, so i holed up in the cabin with a book and several cups of vanilla pudding while i waited for my mom to arrive. it was sort of peaceful. the camp was quiet for once, instead of being filled with the shouts and cheers of boys playing in the gaga pit.

my mom got lost a few times on the way home. (it is truly amazing to me that after all this time, she is still finding new ways to get lost.) i had been looking forward to finally getting a shower, but as soon as i stepped inside, i got a text from a friend reminding me that there was pep band that night. i didn’t have time to change out of the staff hoodie i’d been shivering in all weekend, much less get a desperately needed shower, before i was at school and setting up a bass drum in the bleachers.


other things that happened at winter camp:

– my “friend” peter called me a communist and a liberal because i said i’m in marching band and don’t like meat?? i was telling him that i play percussion when he interrupted with a gasp and said, “i was afraid you were going to say that you play triangle! i can just see you jamming to a triangle solo.” and it would have been hilarious except i did actually play triangle at one point during our show. :’)

– a scout that i’ve never talked to in my life told me one night that i looked really pretty that day. thanks, i guess?? it was sort of weird. having guys flirt with me is my least favorite thing about staffing there.

– i’m pretty sure this kid that i troop guided for last year was flirting with me. i’m not 100% sure, but hear me out. he was support staff too and we worked in the kitchen together during every meal. he sat with me during breakfast, was really friendly, gave me cookies from his lunch, etc. we hiked all over camp together on friday, he walked me back to my cabin twice, and he even invited me to play cards against humanity with him in his cabin. do i just have a really big ego, or does it sound like he was flirting and i was just too oblivious to notice?

– everyone thought i was older than i actually am. when i mentioned my real age, it was followed by lots of disbelief and exclamations about how i’m “just a baby!” love that for me.

– i got really sick with the flu right after camp and ended up missing a week of school. i think i got it from kaitlyn. thanks, camp mom, i was basically dying but at least i got to stay home and read.


overall, winter camp involved a lot of shivering, not enough sleep, horrible food, and a scratchy throat from yelling at insolent scouts. it was unorganized and the classes seemed to stretch on forever. but do i plan on going back next year? oh, absolutely. i want another staff hoodie.

have you ever been to a winter camp? how did it compare to summer camp?

xo apollo

a love letter for the boy with the birdsong laugh

dear scout,

one day, my friend asked me what i looked for in a person. i considered the question and spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what someone would have to be like to make me love them forever. in the end, i simply came up with a list of things that describe you:

– you were kind to me when i so desperately needed it
– you understood my anxiety without me having to say a word
– you calmed me down just by being near
– you were smarter than me, which was new
– you never mentioned when i didn’t eat, but you always had chocolate chip cookies in your backpack for when i needed them
– you knew what my wounds were from and didn’t look at me any differently
– my favorite thing about you was that when you laughed, it sounded like birdsong

i lived with you for only two weeks during the worst summer of my life, but it was enough. i have never shown my heart to someone so quickly. all the afternoons spent wandering through the woods, lying on the sun-warmed brick plaza while watching the stars, sitting on the porch and revealing one puzzle piece of our lives at a time — i will cherish them forever.

i fell in love in the forest. now summer is gone and so are you.

you should know, i kept all the gifts you gave me. the leather bracelet dyed red as blood, the rocket with remnants of fourth of july glitter stuck to the inside, the handmade keychain made of twisted purple, blue, and red plastic strands; and so, so much hope.

skeleton // the front bottoms

when i hear your name, there are two memories that come to mind immediately. there was the night when you took my anxiety from an eight to a five just by sitting next to me and pressing your scraped up leg against my trembling one, and the evening when the grass around us turned slick and crimson with blood in an instant. there was a knife glinting in the twilight before your cursing filled the heavy, humid air.

i never told you, but that night you spent in the hospital after passing out in your own blood, i didn’t sleep at all. i sat on a picnic table in the dark and cried like it was all my fault while the blood dried on my skin and in my mouth and on the concrete at my feet. no matter how long i showered, i could not wash off the blood, or the guilt.

whenever someone put their arm around me or offered a tissue, i just shook harder and choked out a sob about how none of this would have happened if it weren’t for me. we would be sitting by the lake while the sun set; instead, i was so anxious that i threw up my salad, and you were forcing down pills while a doctor slipped a needle through your slit skin.

shut up and dance // walk the moon

tovah and candy gathered me on their cabin’s moss-covered porch after your oldest brother drove you to the hospital. they’d known you for years, they told me, and the boys in your family do dumb things when they’re trying to get a girl’s attention. sometimes that means seeing how many barbecue sandwiches you can eat in one night (your record was eight). other times it means doing a knife trick while walking and cutting your hand in two places. it’s not your fault, they told me. he just likes you, and he’s clumsy, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it.

but, i think. but, if you hadn’t asked me to walk down to the lake with you before everyone else got there, and if i hadn’t agreed, you never would have had your knife out in order to show off. if only i had said no, you would be ok.

i remember how frustrated you were when you got back from the hospital with stitches in your knuckle, glue on the severed tip of your thumb, and a clunky cast on your finger. you were late to breakfast all week because you couldn’t put on your glasses yourself, or lace up your hiking boots. i saw you shake with anger after the twentieth camper asked what you did to your hand.

that’s why i sliced open my palm one morning and soaked my half-eaten apple with blood: so people would leave you alone. they stopped staring at your cast, switching to cradling my hand and running gentle fingers over the bandage.

i still have scars on my palm from that day. if i see you again (and i pray that i will), i know you will have a deep cicatrix on your skin as well. i wonder if you think of me when the phantom pains make it ache.

scout, i know i never loved you. but, listen — i could have. oh god, i could have, and when the seasons change, i hope you come back into my life with the new summer. i left you last july without a kiss or even a goodbye, and when i lie awake at night, i think of what words i could have used to make you understand how i felt about you: the feeling of almost.

i know that i don’t know you that well, but i know i’ve been missing you like hell. (i know // motherfolk)


i wrote this in class when i couldn’t concentrate on anything else. a boy who loves me was reading over my shoulder, and now when my friends laugh, i see him tilt his head and listen for the one who sounds like a bird singing to the sun at dawn.

(unfortunately, scout doesn’t live here. which is a shame, because he flirts by sharing pictures of his cat, mr. kitty.)

xo apollo

ahg summer camp 2018

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.

i spent a ridiculous amount of time setting up this picture of my lumpy basket

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.

leather stamping

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.

beth & izzy during last year’s cinematography class

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.

we ate pie 2k18 ♥

– 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.)

i had to edit out one of the words on the bottom for safety reasons

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).

did you go to a camp this summer?

xo apollo

life, i guess (2)

a bunch of exciting stuff has been going on in my life recently, and i thought i’d share everything with you guys by dumping it into one post.

our cabin

– my best friend izzy and i spent the first weekend of june being counselors at camp victory. every year, our church takes their after school program up to the camp to have fun and learn more about God. we were put in a cabin with the elementary school girls, but we were primarily assisting the younger ones. izzy’s family has been helping for years, but this was my first time. i sort of hated it, but i know i’ll go again next year if i get the chance.

izzy!

highlights:

– i carried so many girls on my back that i have bruises on my hips from their legs.
– it rained pretty much nonstop. there were about two hours on saturday when it wasn’t raining and we got to play games outside, but it was pouring the rest of the time.
– one of those games involved running around with a dead octopus. izzy got a bit too into it and ripped off a tentacle.
– they made us do zumba every morning. that was . . . something.
– i got into the pool with izzy when i was fully clothed. it was fun and all, but i didn’t bring enough dry clothes, and the t-shirt i was wearing at the time was white and kind of thin. still, i’m glad she convinced me to do it.
– the girls in our cabin decided that our group would be named the “glitter star bears.” we had to do a cheer about it at every meal and it was sort of awful.
– we had a movie night on saturday, and someone told me we were watching shrek, so i was naturally very excited. they lied, though, and we were really watching monsters university. don’t get me wrong, i love that movie, but i had my heart set on shrek.
– i slept in the leaders’ cabin the last night because our girls were so loud and stayed up really late. sadly, i didn’t sleep any better up there, and i ended up getting about four hours of sleep over the whole weekend. also, there were roaches in the cabin and a snake in the bathroom. :)

– my brother was at a karate tournament the same weekend i was at camp. he did a roundoff backflip during his first kata, landed wrong, and ended up breaking his foot and injuring his knee. but he got back up, completed the kata, and got second place. his foot was broken in three places, i think, and he had surgery on monday to fix it.

– i found out last week that i’m old enough to work at my summer camp as a counselor in training! since i’m a girl and it’s a boy scout camp, i didn’t think it was likely that i would be accepted, but somehow i was. i’m ridiculously excited for this, because i’ve wanted to work at camp since i first went there in 2016.

getting ready for camp has taken a lot of work. i had to complete three online courses, do a bunch of paperwork, and buy a venture scouts uniform (unfortunately, the guy that ordered it got the wrong size). on top of all that, i’m leaving today for a training session at the camp and i won’t be back until friday night.

– a few months ago, my math teacher saw me drawing in class and asked me to make a new mathematics-themed poster for him. i sort of forgot about it until the last two weeks of school, so i had to rush to get it done. i worked on it for nine hours (most of which was probably organizing art supplies on the table), but i finished it in time. my favorite part is the blue jay, i think i did a good job coloring it in.

– this is maybe less important than the others, but i’ve heard that love, simon is being put on netflix this month, and i am so excited to watch it again. i love the soundtrack, i love the book it’s based on, and i am so ready to cry at the ending again. happy pride month, by the way! 🌈

– a few people have been asking if i’m going to do cwwc again this year. i’m sorry to say it, but i won’t be. i just have too much planned this summer, so i think it’s unlikely that i’ll have an entire month that i can dedicate to it. sorry!

have a good day! :)

xo apollo

summer camp | pt. two

hello, my friends!

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.

arm throne.

piggyback ride.

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

“ALEX is long gone when he left us in the middle of the woods for his car!”

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

look at the staff GO.

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. :’)

xo apollo