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i Am Third Paper Revised

i Am Third Paper Revised

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Published by Lindsey Britt

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Published by: Lindsey Britt on Feb 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/21/2012

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There is nothing comparable to the feeling of complete bliss that I feel when making the sharpturn onto the road that leads to Camp Tecumseh. I pity the other kids left in Columbus who are sent tosummer camps where they sit at fold-out tables all day making paper boats that don¶t work and draw pictures with dried out markers. I jump up and down like a hyperactive five-year-old who has just eatenall of the chocolate from his Christmas stocking when I talk to them about my enthusiasm for Camp T,and they never understand my genuine excitement. What they don¶t understand is that Camp T is likeno other summer camp in the nation. In fact, it has been given an award for being the best Christiansummer camp in the United States for seven straight years now. It is the place where average schoolcafeteria food is the best delicacy you have ever had the honor of putting in your mouth, where youlose your voice on a daily basis from belting out ridiculous camp songs, and where you will oftenventure on mud hikes that are considered successful if the amount of mud covering your entire body prevents your counselor from being able to recognize who you are. The Camp T culture, as I like to callit, makes you feel like you are living in an alternate universe. I know of no other place on Earth whereactivities like these are routine. These thoughts swim through my mind as my dad turns into one of thelast parking spots left at the end of the road. We have arrived.I throw off my seat belt and shoot out of my seat like a pebble being shot as projectile from aslingshot. I have only one objective. I have to sign in with the administrators in the congested campcenter, get my cabin assignment for the next two weeks, and rush to claim a bunk next to my bestfriend Ellen Hacker from Columbus who also goes to Camp T. Once I am there, I will finally be able toreunite with my counselors and cabin mates from years past. However, this year is different. I am not acamper anymore. This year, I am a camper in leadership training, or a CILT as we are commonlycalled. Simply put, this acronym means I am half counselor and half camper. My parents always tellme how quickly I am growing up, but for some reason, this change in social status at my favorite placein the world makes this fact much clearer in my mind. This is the year when I figure out if I want to bea full-time resident counselor or not. The commitment involved with that is huge, and it¶s not going to
 
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 be an easy decision.I register in record time and begin sprinting to my assigned cabin, the Longhouse, to reunitewith all of my friends. I imagine that I am at state finals for track and field, running for the 4x100meter team relay title again. The Longhouse is the finish line, and my camp friends are my trophy. Thefirst person I see is Mel Lang, who is quite possibly one of the best counselors I have ever had as acamper. When she was my counselor last year, she taught me by example that the best person you can be is yourself. I love her with all of my heart. I run straight to her and jump into her arms in an embracefit to be put in slow motion in a movie. I never cry. I¶m not just saying that, either. I¶m pretty sure thatthe last time I cried was when someone elbowed me in the face and almost broke my nose on accidentabout six months ago. Despite my usual disdain for showing extreme emotions, I start crying right thenand there in the middle of camp in front of everyone. I already know that I will most likely cry moreduring these two weeks than I ever have before. The amount of love found here is unfathomable. I amcontinually amazed by the power camp has on me. I only spend about a week with these people eachyear, but it feels like I grew up with them.I finally pull away from Mel to greet the rest of the people on the Longhouse porch with tearsof happiness streaming down my face. I notice that Arielle Brosman and Sarah Wright are also here;they must be my other two counselors. Arielle was one of my counselors a couple of years ago. She¶ssweeter than candy with a smile to match. I have heard wonderful things about Sarah, but have never had the opportunity to call her my counselor. There are three counselors for the boy CILTs here. One of them is named Evan Frick, who is known for being an Abercrombie model when he was 1
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.Apparently it¶s something he¶d like to forget because a lot of people tease him about it, but that¶s all ingood fun. The other is named Michael Kraft, but everyone just calls him Krafty. Someone mentionsthat the third CILTs counselor for the boys, who has the nickname of Beef and a muscular build tomatch, is actually the older brother of one of the CILTs for this session.After saying hello to all of my counselors, I start to make my way toward my fellow CILTs. I
 
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am ecstatic to see all of the familiar faces, and to meet some new people as well. Names are slowly placed with faces as my memory struggles to recall who everyone is. Somewhere in the back of mymind, I wonder how in the world I¶m going to be able to remember everyone¶s name. I¶ve always beenterrible with names. I walk into the Longhouse where all of the CILT girls and I will be staying duringthe next two weeks, which will surely be the best two weeks of our lives. Behind the Longhouse is theYurt where the CILT boys will be staying. The Yurt is insanely cool. It¶s basically a giant circular tentwith a 1
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foot ceiling. I¶m kind of jealous that the girls have to live in a normal building; I want to livein the Yurt! I throw my belongings onto my bunk, take a deep breath to calm myself down, and take myfirst real look around since I arrived. The bunks are just as I remembered. The air smells like leaves, pool water, sunscreen, and freshly cooked smiley fries from the dining lodge. The sun is shiningoutside, and its cheerful rays fit my mood. I see friendship bracelet string on top of someone¶s bed.Someone brought temporary tattoos, and the remnants of those that have already been applied litter thefloor. Everyone else in the room shares my enthusiasm for Camp T. I can¶t remember the last time Isaw this much optimism and sincere excitement in one place.After I have had the opportunity to get to know some new people and catch up with old friends,I hear a voice yell out: ³Hey CILTs!´ We all quickly scramble outside to the Longhouse deck and find aseat along the perimeter. Our six counselors are standing in the middle of the deck with several boxes.Each person receives a white binder and an ink pen. Mel tells us that we should treat these cheap ball- point pens like they are our babies and that we should never drop them because the spaces between thewooden planks on the Longhouse porch like to eat pens. If we lose our baby pens, we don¶t get anymore and we¶ll just have to deal with it.³Hey guys, welcome to CILTs, Session
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011! We¶re super excited to have you here. Asyou probably all know, you guys are no longer campers. You are here to have fun like you did as acamper, but your main purpose is to work with the campers and do your job to learn what it takes to bea counselor,´ says Sarah.

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