Let me tell you, some traditions are really worth keeping; summer camp is one of them. My mom used to regale me with tales of going to camp every summer up north (and was always sure to finish it off with a subtle "I'd love to see you go to Camp Zion one day."). Pretty much everyone in my family had gone there at one point or another and my mom seemed hell-bent on adding me to the distinguished ranks of "Camp Zion alum".
As a child who wasn't naturally inclined to being extremely social, the idea of summer camp scared the living daylights out of me. Days away from my family, forced to live in close confines with strangers, and worse, strangers my age?? God-forbid.
In the end, I relented, and only because my best friend was also going to camp. Not only did it change my life (no, really!) and have an amazing time, but it proved that, yet again, my mother knows best. So I attended camp for the next several years and loved every minute of it.
|Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/CampZion|
On the Sunday of the week of camp, we would pile into an old bus and drive four hours north to Door County, Wisconsin. It was hot and awkward because it was the beginning of the week and no one knows each other yet. *Spoiler alert* The way home was the best part. Anyway, the camp is charming; it's set on a bluff, thick with trees, that overlooks Green Bay. You slept in cabins and ate in a mess hall. It was awesome.
|Photo source: www.facebook.com/CampZion|
We went kayaking, played organized games, and swam in the lake. Sometimes we would walk through the forest at night with nothing but blankets and our flashlights to find our way back. We bought candy during canteen hour (with our parent's money of course). Pranks were pulled, friends were made, and crushes were had. But honestly, some of the most beautiful moments happened at the end of each day: we would all gather on the dock for the evening sermon, around a fire, and watch the sun set into the Bay. It was beautiful and incredibly meaningful. Suddenly it all made sense why my mom wanted me to go to camp so badly.
While I know that I went to summer camp several years ago, I hope it hasn't changed much. I hope they still have skit nights that make you burst at the seams with laughter, I hope they still make you sing (out loud, in front of the entire camp) when you get mail from a person of the opposite gender, I hope that there isn't internet access so that campers can disconnect from "the world" and get to know the real thing. I hope they still sing silly camp songs about jeeps and kissing in canoes. Because it's definitely a tradition that I intend to keep when I become a parent.