Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another Great Year Must Come to an End

Day 5 :(

The last morning at camp always feels a bit off. Since there's no morning activities this is the one morning you get to sleep in until the breakfast bell rings. It's not like I don't enjoy sleeping in, usually on the weekend I wake up to the sound of my phone ringing with someone acquiring my presence when it's already past noon, but it's not everyday you can go on a hike or do yoga with your camp buddies. Sleeping in is for ordinary days and any day at camp definitely does not count as "ordinary".

I always do the Sunshine Dance full out (even when I'm not at camp) but it's even more exaggerated and crazy on the last day! As our last breakfast we had breakfast burritos and eggs which I remember was the same meal from the year prior. I loaded my plate with fruit and cereal since I'm allergic to whatever is inside the burritos and being the picky eater I am, I just don't really like eggs... Usually after breakfast we would head back to our cabins to get ready for our next activity, but before we headed back to our cabins to pack instead we did a camp sweep. A camp sweep is when everyone lines up by the dining hall facing the ocean and slowly but surely picks up every piece of garbage so the next session has spiffy looking camp grounds.

Jarred and I at breakfast :)

Emily and my bro Brandon!

My boys Dylan, Alex and Jarred during the sweep :)
The ladies covered the beach from the dock to Frog Rock, Girls Camp leading to the infirmary and Arts & Crafts while the gent's cleaned Boys Camp back towards the High Ropes Course. Cleaning after Art's & Crafts must be a real honor since it was easily the dirtiest... sparkliest and most colorful activity area ever. Once we finished, we went back to our cabins to stuff our luggage with all our clothes smelling like camp and to restore our cabin back in its original order for the Schooner girls in Session 2 and later on Session 3. All my clothes seemed to be scattered about the cabin... the longest part of packing was probably gathering all my stuff since something of mine seemed to be everywhere; in other suitcases, outside the cabin, on the drying rack, in the shelves, under my bunk... everywhere besides the squirrel box, thank goodness!

I was probably the last one to be 100%  packed! As long as my clothes make it back to Arizona in one piece it doesn't really matter how my clothes are packed since I'm practically going to dump my suitcase in the washer once I get home, however I'm a huge perfectionist (one of my more appreciative but annoying qualities) so it matters to me! I rolled and stuffed all my clothes to one side of my suitcase so I had enough room for my toiletries, sleeping bag and pillow which I also have to cram in my luggage. Our med nurse, Miffy, put our medications in our bag before we dropped off our huge Nick & Kelly bags at the boat dock. While we were cleaning our cabin a couple girls from Catboat came in to ask if we needed any help sweeping [heart... melted... from maximum adorableness]. Once we finished cleaning we passed time by signing shirts and taking final cabin pictures until the lunch bell rang.

Schooner with a couple Catboat girls <3

Schooner Cabin <3 You all have a special place in my heart!

The line of signing shirts
I ended up getting a medium CDC shirt since they were all out of smalls. In the end, I'm sort of glad I received a medium because the back of my shirt quickly filled up with loving messages from my cabin friends and counselors. Especially during lunch when I was racing around the dining hall to get signatures from all the other wonderful campers and counselors! We always have a final squirrel before we headed towards the field to wait for the boat to be unloaded of Session 2 campers and their luggage. It's a bit more complicated than a regular squirrel dance... Basically, a line of new counselors form a line from the squirrel box leading to the chosen counselor at the end. All the counselors pass along each item inside the squirrel box which is the amount of time you have to claim your lost item. If you don't claim your item before it is passed to the chosen counselor than that counselor must wear it... somehow. Even though none of my items were lost, I couldn't possibly pass up squirreling one last time before leaving.

"I WIN!"
After our final squirrel, we headed towards the field to sign shirts, once again, and wait for the boat to be unloaded and re-loaded. Between signing shirts and dismissal on to the boat we had a final cabin closing. Favorite part about this year at camp? My favorite part of this year, as usual, was creating stronger friendships with old friends and creating fresh friendship with new friends. Creating friendships at camp is definitely not like meeting new people at school. At school you walk into a class, introduce yourself, start a conversation hoping people will accept you for you. At camp, everyone is already accepting because we have all been-there-done-that in terms of not being accepted. Meeting friends at camp isn't difficult because everyone is so kind, easy going to talk to, understanding and just fun to be around! Some of my strongest friendships are thanks to camp and I'm lucky to have a gateway from everything worrisome in reality to just be normal and treated like an equal.
Our last cabin photo before going on the boat :'(

Waiting for the boat with Emily, Nicole and Tyler
The walk leading to the boat while saying good bye to all the counselors is probably one of the saddest moments of camp, for me at least. High fiving all my favorite counselors for one makes me super jealous knowing they get to stay for another session on the magnificent Catalina Island but I also get really choked up knowing I won't see them for a whole year because their all amazing and I'll miss them. The counselors are still waving goodbye to us when we're on the boat, but that's not all. When you think the counselors are going to walk back to the Dining Hall to greet the next session, they all jump in and continue waving goodbye from the water.

Counselors jumping from the dock
We landed a table of six on the second floor of the boat for the ride back to the main land. I sat with my friends Sammy, Dylan, Alex, Collin, and my boyfriend Jarred. The boat ride just seemed to fly by because before we knew it we were saying our last goodbyes to all the campers and counselors from California at the Catalina Express boat dock. This is probably one of my least favorite parts of camp. I hate saying goodbye to the California campers because I never know if I'll see them again before Camp 2013. As fast paced as Nick & Kelly is trying to load all the Arizona campers on to the buses, there is always time for a couple five minute hugs. I'm definitely going to miss all my California buddies, especially my three Schooner girls from Cali; Kasey, Katelyn and Brianna! <3

Once we loaded on to the buses, Jarred and I relaxed all the way to the airport. Practically falling asleep but managed to stay awake by listening to music (I'm so glad I brought my phone) and we went a little wild taking pictures.

One couldn't ask for a better boyfriend <3
"Practically perfect in every way" 
The heart couple <3
We arrived to the John Wayne Airport and quickly moved through security and back on a plane to the state of ridiculous heat and cactus. I sat between Jarred and my friend Alex and oh... my... goodness... Sitting between these two guys is like sitting next to Bill Murray and Jimmy Fallon... just uncontrollable laughter all the way back to Arizona. I don't think I ever laugh as hard any where else unless I'm with these two fellers. It never really hits me camp is "officially" over until I can see my parents visible faces while coming down the escalator. There was so much commotion around, the tears didn't catch up to me until I was home. I just disregarded my parents because I was too busy saying goodbye to EVERYONE! I said good bye to Jarred by blowing a kiss, even though we'll be seeing each other very soon at parties and Homecoming (pictures to come) and the rest of my Corazon Family! The last person I said good bye to was my nurse practitioner who was a counselor this year for the youngest cabin. She burst into tears when she was trying to describe what a leader I am to my parents.

There is such a difference in my whole attitude and personality when I'm at camp. You don't even have to talk to me to see how happy I am because it just shines through me. I wouldn't label myself as a leader or even anyone with much confidence, but I can definitely say camp has given me enough confidence to live my life the way life should be lived. I have received the gift of life twice and I'm not just going to let that go to waste. I have far too much to live for and no one will bring me down. As Elphaba would say, I'm defying gravity.

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