letter from last summer | pt. two

| the cast |

jordan: eccentric handicraft director; the kindest, most helpful person at camp; doesn’t believe that birds are real.

kaitlyn: assistant trailblazers director; struggling with being in love with the wrong person; my camp mom for the past two years.

michael: handicraft instructor; wears a cowboy hat; has the exact same laugh as me.

mary: health officer; looks just like me; always has popsicles hidden in her freezer.

you: CIT; has the loveliest brown eyes; awful at goodbyes.

 

week four

i came home from the fourth week of camp & wrote in my journal, i knew this week would be the worst & it absolutely has been.

the thing about camp is that when one person gets sick, the whole staff has it by the end of the week. & when one bad thing happens, it is sure to be followed by something else tragic & infinitely worse.

the first bad thing: jordan got bronchitis & had to go to the hospital. the second bad thing: as assistant director, i was put in charge of handicraft while he was gone. i had to go to meetings & deal with fuming scout masters who wouldn’t listen to me because i am a girl & 5’2″, & then there was that incident with the applesauce. the third bad thing: the other staffers kept asking if you were coming back, & kaitlyn pointed out a young scout that looked just like you. after that, i wore the red bolo you gave me every evening for the rest of the summer. it was my one reminder of you that didn’t hurt.

the really tragic, infinitely worse thing: i got sick in the middle of the week & the awful thing happened while the health officer was checking on me in my cabin. i was in a sports bra, hair stuck to my skin from the fever, with mary kneeling beside my bunk. someone else needed her right then & it was my fault that she couldn’t be there to stop it. it’s been five months already, but sometimes the guilt still knocks me over like a sucker punch.

they told us that it was sensitive information, that no one else needed to know about it. i still haven’t told my mother. but there was an ambulance that everyone thought was for me. there was a sweet little boy who didn’t understand what he’d seen. when i cried about it later, it was because of that boy. there’s this pit in my stomach when i think about him growing up & realizing what he had witnessed.

i was here with you & i was happy

week five

i came home from the fifth week of camp & wrote, i am so very confused.

because that’s what the week was all about, right? being confused. rumors & conversations with hidden meanings & little hearts doodled on bare legs.

the teal car parked in front of the health lodge. lighters left as gifts. engraved tomahawks. a sword tattoo. nine years apart. these were things i paid attention to in the middle of july when i was lonely.

he said, you’re trouble, but just for me. he said, you look like an angel on the outside, but you’re definitely not on the inside. he said, i think you’re going to get me fired.

we went on walks together at night, wandering through the bike trails without a flashlight. he called me angel.

that week was the one year anniversary of the worst day of my life. i’d been dreading it all summer, & even though i knew it was coming, i still cried at the campfire. i put my head between my knees & sobbed in front of everyone, because oh god, when is it going to stop hurting? when will i stop remembering how it felt when the world ended? i couldn’t breathe. i can’t forget.

it’s been a year & everyone still hates me, i told kaitlyn while we watched the flames dance. i don’t understand why they let me go home. i didn’t understand a year ago, & i didn’t understand then, & i don’t think i ever will.

kaitlyn & mary made me stay in the health lodge that evening. i kept ending up there with wounds of the heart, not something that could be fixed with an alcohol wipe & a band-aid.

week six

i came home from the sixth week of camp & wrote in my journal, i learned how to shotgun a drink. it made me pass out.

my last week was filled with art & anxiety. i remember sitting in the handicraft pavilion at one in the morning, painting in my pajamas. that white van shuddered up the gravel road, coming to stop when the driver saw the lights were on. hey, angel, he said when he got out & came to sit on one of my acrylic-covered benches. he told me that his head was messed up.

you’re the cutest person at camp, he said. i would date you if you were eighteen.

nine years, i thought, & i was afraid.

i wished that i wasn’t wearing my ex’s shirt. i wished that i had just showered & gone to bed instead of deciding to paint. i wished that i would stop finding myself in situations like this. everything felt like déjà vu that summer.

i think i almost cried from relief when jordan showed up with his friends. then someone cut their finger on a pocket knife, & there was blood all over the concrete floor, & the taste of it filled my mouth again. when i cried then, it was because of the bad memories from last summer, by the lake with michael. how it’s always my fault when someone goes to the hospital; how the year-old bloodstains still haven’t washed out of my yellow shirt.

but there was one last good thing in store for me, & i have never been closer to singing praises than the day i saw you again. you still had all your gear with you when you showed up at my pavilion out of the blue, which made me think that you hiked straight from your car to me. straight from my memories to being by my side again.

it was friday evening. we were getting ready for the last closing campfire of the season. your return made the end of summer more sweet than bitter.

we ate a whole apple pie together in the health lodge. we laid in the grass during the campfire, listening to the drums. we shared your hammock later & i told you everything that i hadn’t been able to explain over the phone, & it took until morning.

you are awful at goodbyes & i am terrible at letting go. i think we were made for each other.


here are the songs that hold my memories of the past two summers:

august love // grayscale
shut up and dance // WALK THE MOON
i know // motherfolk
always summer // yellowcard
mamma mia // ABBA
ocean avenue // yellowcard
letter from last summer // charlie burg
summertime // my chemical romance
there’s a place // the all-american rejects
the longest time // billy joel
summer nights // grease the musical
our last summer // mamma mia! the musical

xo apollo

letter from last summer | pt. one

lake dillon

| the cast |

jordan: eccentric handicraft director; the kindest, most helpful person at camp; doesn’t believe that birds are real.

you: CIT; has the loveliest brown eyes; awful at goodbyes.

week one

i came home from staff training & the first week of camp & wrote in my journal, it is only ten days later but the world feels completely different. there was a burn across my cheeks & bruises splattered over my legs like paint, but i was electric; i felt like i had swallowed the june sun.

the first week was ecstatic & exhausting. it was reuniting with old friends & throwing together lesson plans & moving into a tiny cabin with three other girls & learning how to live in the woods again.

the troop i was in charge of must have thought i was the greatest person at camp. they invited me to have dinner with them again & again & even picked orange daylilies for me. the flowers were gorgeous, but i wished that they were from someone else.

it stormed one evening so we had a game night in the dining hall. we were playing a round of twister that refused to end & you were sitting by yourself with a practice pad & drumsticks. my heartbeat matched the cadence you were playing & i have not been the same since.

week one i became best friends with a CIT & it almost ruined everything. we stayed up late together every night, talking from inside our hammocks & playing cards & listening to classic rock. i had a gut feeling that this would be a summer for change. i was right.

lake olga

week two

i came home from the second week of camp & wrote in my journal, it has been one hell of a week.

let me set the scene: it’s my night off & you tell me that we are going to have a campfire. later in the night, you will accidentally hit me in the head with a smoldering stick & my favorite pair of shorts will disappear forever; but for now the air smells like cedar smoke & i’m counting fireflies as they flit through the twilight. at this point, i have known you for fifteen days.

my best friend called as our campfire was starting to crumble into coals. you’d never met her, but you got on the phone with her & talked about me for twenty minutes. she told me that your voice was adorable & that i should keep you. i promise i’ve been trying.

week two, you learned something about me that everyone else already knew: sometimes everything gets to be too much for me, which is when the panic & shaking sets in. that week, the thing that pushed me over was all the attention from the campers & scout masters. i should’ve been used to it from last summer, but the comments & stares & questions still made fear & bad memories creep up & down the back of my neck.

i came to you crying one night. that was weakness & i know it, but you invited me into your hammock & held me against your chest until the shaking stopped; you told me stories about your childhood until i calmed down enough to fall asleep.

from my journal

you asked me what i looked for in a person (i feel like i’ve heard this question before) so i made you a list: brown eyes, percussionist, likes adventure, takes care of me, comfortable silence, not restrictive, believes me, understands my anxiety, talkative (not too much), always gentle. you fit all but one. i made you guess & of course you got it right.

here’s something you keep bringing up, months later. one evening we were in my hammock & jordan cut the straps with a car key. cue crashing to the ground in a tangle of limbs & you storming off. i’ve tried to tell you that he just wants to keep me safe. i hope your bruises from the fall have healed.

remember the sunrise? we sat on the plaza overlooking the lake at 5:52 in the morning. the sun rose somewhere behind the trees & the colors were lost to us. you yawned & said that it was a waste; i was just happy to have a quiet, soft moment with you in the morning. i remember glasses & messy hair & bare feet & putting on your shirt to ward off the chill.

week three

i came home from the third week of camp & wrote in my journal, i started crying during the campfire & couldn’t stop.

it was a whirlwind of a week, made worse by the fact that you disappeared.

you were a camper that week. you told me you’d stop by handicraft to see me but you never did. i tried not to let it bother me, but i kept winding up in the health lodge before classes, crying on the quarantine bed. i’m learning that i get sick when i’m upset about something. i was sick quite often that week & the something was you.

that was the week of the wilderness. we left camp for a day to hike through the forest, jump from waterfalls, scale rock faces. i had never been stunned into silence by nature until that trip. & i like to think that i am brave, but i never would have leapt from that cliff if you hadn’t done it with me. it was falling & falling & feeling like throwing up before hitting the water with a crash & a whoop of joy.

this is where i want to kiss you

i dreamt about the view sometimes, so i went back to the falls by myself. it wasn’t the same because i wasn’t in love. i stood at the foot of the cliffs in the exact place where you asked if we were just going to be a summer fling, & i am not ashamed to say that the memories in that forest made me cry.

there were fireworks the night after we got back. we sat by the lake to watch the explosions. it was raining. let me be poetic & pretend that the storm was mourning you & me, because the week was almost over & then you’d be gone for good.

on your last day, i wrote two love letters at one in the morning. in the letter that i gave to you, i wrote, nothing is guaranteed in life & i am trying to be ok with that, but i hope i see you next summer & the next one & the next one & the next one. the letter i still have says, when i’m with you, it’s like i’ve never been sad in my life.


i finally finished writing about my first year staffing at a boy scout summer camp. i’ve been going to this camp with my AHG troop since i was twelve, so getting to spend the whole summer teaching there was almost an unreal experience.

i miss that place & my friends more than i know how to express. it’s always been a safe place for me; somewhere to recenter myself. six & a half months until i get to have another wonderful, chaotic summer there. i hope i get to fall in love again.

i’ve already written part two, so expect to see that sometime soon.

xo apollo

life, i guess (5)

legg

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.

img_1038
my bff & i being artsy

– 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.

xo apollo

8 books to kick off your summer reading

one of my favorite things about summer is the fact that i have so much free time to spend reading! i went to the library recently and checked out a bunch of summery books because they always make me feel happy and hopeful for the coming months. so for anyone who’s also looking for great summer reads, here are eight stories filled with adventure, sleepaway camps, beaches, and young love to keep you reading all summer long.

 

summer days & summer nights: twelve love stories by stephanie perkins – going into this collection of short stories, i was expecting cute, fluffy tales of young love. for the most part, that is not what i got. so many of these stories were melancholy and had bittersweet endings. personally, i think that all of the authors had the idea to make their story sad so that it would stand out from the rest, so then all of them ended up being a little bit miserable.

they aren’t all your basic straight contemporary romance either: there’s a range of genres (fantasy, horror, futuristic) and characters (interracial and lgbt+ couples, love interests with autism and depression, etc.). a theme that ran through most of them was a missing parent/broken family.

my favorite short stories from this collection were in ninety minutes, turn north, love is the last resort, and a thousand ways this could all go wrong.

bad magic by pseudonymous bosch – this is the first book of a series by one of my favorite authors. bosch’s books are always witty and engaging, with quirky characters you can’t help but root for. bad magic is about a boy named clay who gets sent to earth ranch, a summer camp for troubled kids on a volcanic island. but strange things keep happening at the camp — talking llamas, abandoned libraries, ghosts — and clay starts to wonder if there’s something more sinister going on at the island.

swing sideways by nanci turner stevenson – annie’s family is spending the summer in the countryside. while she’s exploring, annie meets california, a girl her age who’s staying on her grandfather’s farm. the two become friends and spend their summer trying to the ponies that california’s mom owned as a child, which the girls think are roaming the woods. it’s a touching story about eating disorders, loss, freedom, and friendship.

lemons by melissa savage – this middle grade story reminded me so much of the cartoon gravity falls, which is probably why i loved it so much. in lemons, a young girl named lemonade who’s lost her mother gets sent to live with her grandfather in a small town. her grandfather, charlie, owns a bigfoot-themed souvenir shop. there are lots of strange bigfoot-sightings throughout town, all of which are reported to the bigfoot detective agency, which lemonade finds herself working for. overall, it’s a sweet story about friendship, grief, and of course, bigfoot.

honor girl by maggie thrash – this is a graphic memoir about maggie falling in love with one of the counselors at her all-girl summer camp. what i loved about this was the nostalgic feel and how spot-on the camp culture was. the art isn’t stellar, but it fits the youthful feel of the story quite well. it felt like it had been plucked straight from the author’s diary, and the ending just about broke my heart.

love & gelato by jenna evans – traveling, mysteries, forbidden love, italian food — this wholesome YA romance has it all. the adorable love interest and gorgeous descriptions of italy will have you hooked from the start, and the drama and emotional twists will make you finish it. my only complaints are that i thought lina, the main character, was kind of rude, and it was so strange to me that the whole story took place in just a few days. but it’s still a cute book overall and i’ve met several people who say it’s their absolute favorite!

we were liars by e. lockhart – this is one of those books that you should go into knowing nothing, so i won’t say too much about it in fear of spoiling the killer twist at the end. but at its simplest, we were liars is about a group of four friends and the summers they spend with their families on their private island. the writing is so gorgeous, and the feeling of dread grows the closer you get to the end until you can barely think about anything else.

frannie and tru by karen hattrup – i finished this book a week or two ago, and it’s the one that really got me excited about summer. in this coming-of-age story, frannie little’s cousin tru is sent to stay with her family for the summer after a bad coming out experience. frannie has been hoping that with tru around, she’ll have the most exciting summer of her life, which is exactly what happens. this is a lyrical, introspective novel about secrets, racism, sexuality, and growing up. however, i do think it’s one of those books where you either adore it or everything about it annoys you, and i am most definitely in the love camp.


have you read any of these books? what are your recommendations for summer reading?

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