The Multiple Perspectives

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We went on a hike to reach our destination, longer than we had expected. After days of begging they agreed to allow only the last year campers to go on a campout with a few counselors. That was the “first time in Gnawbone history” as they told us with the sunshine setting behind their heads as we set off. There were eleven of us including the counselors. We ended up at the backyard of Alice’s house with a blue tarp set up for whoever wanted to sleep under the stars. With our dinners already packed for us, we set out around the campsite to find some thin sticks in order to make a campfire. After some bees almost stung three people, we finally had enough to build a campfire in order to toast our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Most people find this idea absolutely appalling however it was a camp tradition and after the first year of camp, a campout with toasted PB&J is one of the highlights of camp. May I remind you that this camp is extremely rustic. From the bottom of the hill that houses every cabin but two, there is one large cabin in the middle along with 11 other cabins lined up around it. None of the cabins have been redone completely since the 1940’s. This includes the stained mattresses that seem to be prehistoric, the windows with holes in the screens, and the all time favorite of the holes in the cabin floor. Each year the favorite cabin is the one that has most recently been redone. Sorry for going off on a tangent, I figured you might need some more information in order to orient yourself into “camp mode” as we like to call it.

Since there were only nine last year campers, which is not a large number compared to the seventeen last year campers for summer twenty-twelve, we were all able to fit on the tarp. After an extremely frightening camp of ghost in the graveyard, we finally settled down on the tarp all lying on our backs. Looking up it seemed like you were able to see every single galaxy that existed. We were able to view the bright red ball of fire otherwise known as Mars, the space station floating through the sky, and the most magical shooting stars I have ever seen, they were also the first ones I had ever seen. As all of us lay in a semi-circle telling stories about school dances, our favorite documentaries, and the “when I grow up I want to be (blank)” talk the stars danced above us, sparkling with a full moon by their side. Most of the girls had fallen asleep except for three of us: Gayle, Madeline, and of course me. As we laughed and attempted to be quiet after being half-heartedly yelled at by other drowsy campers, the wind whistled all around us. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to be up in a tree seeing all of these girls serenely sleeping or having the best night of their life. If only there would have been a photographer fifty feet above us in a magical chair that had the ability to take a panorama of all of us, that would have been a great Facebook profile picture. Through the holes in our six-year-old sleeping bags we were able to see some deer trying to eat the flowers farther down the hill below us. As one girl started laughing in her sleep, they were startled and pranced off into the woods. Once we had become so tired that the stars up above began to spin, we finally stopped talking and fell asleep. At four in the morning, the sky became angry and thunder cracked above our heads. The girls who were not woken up by that, woke up quickly after when the rain started to pour all over them and their sleeping bags. As we all rushed into tents, all of the other campers in one and the three of us in another, we knew we would not be sleeping the rest of the night. While lying on the damp tents listening to the Whippoorwill trying to call his mate, the only action that seemed appropriate was the basic action of “dying of laughter.”

Eventually Bill came to get us once everybody else at camp realized the rain would not let up and it would be impossible for the people camping out to cook their breakfast because all of the wood would be wet. As we pilled into the car for a fifteen minute car ride back to the main camp, most of the girls fell asleep quickly, all but me. As I watched the woods pass by with the sun racing up in the sky behind us, I knew that I would not ever be coming back to this place ever again nor seeing most of these girls ever again except on their profiles on Facebook even thought they live two minutes away from me. Even though I did not fully admit this to myself, I know now while typing this story for a 9th grade English class that I was in fact correct. As the date approaches that my sisters will go back to camp along with my parents, the fact that I am not going back still haunts me. There are only 27 more days until camps starts, less than a month. I have the experience of a lifetime waiting ahead of me as I go to South Africa for 25 days. So why am I still having withdrawals? One part may be due to the fact that Gayle, Madeline, and I don’t talk anymore. Gayle forgetting my birthday was finally the last straw. After all of those promises to always be there for me and she forgets my birthday. Now, I know most of you may be thinking that I am overreacting but on her birthday I woke up at 5 am, it was the first day of school, just so I could get ready and call her to talk to her on the phone for an hour. It is not like I hate Gnawbone, because I do not. However this experience of not going back has made me realize all of the things and faults that Gnawbone has that I didn’t see beforehand. I guess I was just blind sighted by my extreme obsession that all campers have about the camp. Maybe I finally met a thing called reality. So as the days get closer to the day my sisters go to camp, I think more about camp. The day that they go without me for the first time in 7 years will probably be extremely difficult for me. Here is to a new experience. Out of Indianapolis, out of Indiana, out of the Midwest, and out of the country. Here is to trying new things, things that are not in the Southern part of Indiana with 99 other girls. Although I am not ready now, when the time comes, I will be ready to move on. Move on from all of the 6 years of being a little girl at a summer camp. Although those memories will always be in the back of my head for the rest of my life, the memories and experiences that I have in South Africa will be fantastic too. I think this random creative writing piece that we had to write helped with the closing process of getting over the hurt that the knowledge of not going back has caused. “It’s sad, but sometimes, moving on with the rest of your life starts with closure and a goodbye.”





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