Mountain Camp Memoir

January 16, 2008
By Erin Nicholson, Petaluma, CA

We drove up the long, familiar road, slithering up the mountain to the best place in the world – Mountain Camp. I had gone every summer since I was 8, and I was 12 – it was my 5th year.

The torturous 4-hour drive dragged on as I squirmed anxiously in my seat, “Are we almost there?”

“How many times are you going to ask that same question?” my mom replied, starting to sound annoyed, “We’ll get there when we get there!”

I opened my window to feel the cool breeze, and smelled the “nature smell” – the trees of the forest around me. I closed my eyes and took it in, feeling relaxed again. It was all so perfect, too perfect, actually. Something had to go wrong. I would probably get a bad bunk or something like that.
All my worries vanished as the blue painted welcome sign came into view. I was back!
We turned onto the long, curving dirt road and then I spotted the lodge. We were a little late, so there weren’t many cars or people outside. We got out after we parked, and walked up the big wooden steps to the check-in.
I searched for the tunnel of cheering counselors that were usually waiting for campers. Instead I found 3 or 4 counselors sitting on scattered benches, who tried to look enthusiastic as I approached, but I could tell they were tired and bored.
We did all of the things we always had to do on the first day – seeing what cabin I was in, depositing money for the camp store, getting a water bottle, checking the medical information, dropping my stuff off in my cabin, and touring camp.
After that my parents left and I got settled (and I didn’t have a bad bunk because my cabin, Tam was big, so there were lots of them). Then, I got to know the people in my cabin, who I would be living with for the next 2 weeks. Their names were Caroline, Claire, Mackenzie, Katrina, Victoire (French), Pascale (also French), and Corinna. I also had a C.I.T. (counselor in training) named Hanna, and 2 counselors named Rachel and Phoebe. Everybody was great, and they were all from the bay area (except Rachel, who was from Australia).
When the dinner bell rang, we all went down to the bin outdoor eating area and got the first-day speech, did some chants, and had the same first-day meal as always, spaghetti and garlic bread. It was delicious, as always.
Afterward we all went to the opening campfire – there were skits, songs, and anything else you could imagine.
By the time we were getting into bed, I knew it would be a great year, and it was. We talked laughed, sand, danced, swam, did the ropes course, fenced, sailed, did arts and crafts, built forts, and did pretty much everything else you can do at camp. It was the best summer ever, and I’ll never forget it.
Mountain Camp shaped who I am today. It has taught me many new skills, such as climbing, archery, and canoeing. I love it so much, and I want to go back for as long as I can – whether I’m a camper, a C.I.T., or a counselor doesn’t matter, it’s just being there that makes me happy.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!