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Little Things Make the Difference
“Welcome Tiana! Are you ready for another round of camp?” a voice says warmly. The volume is completely inappropriate for this time of day.
Startled, I turn to see that it’s Mrs. DeVault. Her kind eyes are waiting patiently for me to respond.
The age lines on her face make her gentle smile look worn down. I guess being a director of camp this year has really taken a toll on her. She somehow still has that friendly glow about her that I’ve come to like. She was one of the few leaders I felt that had genuine interest with the girls. If she said was concerned about one of us she really meant it.
“I guess so.” I said. I attempted to return the friendly gesture but the scowl on my face refused to leave. My smile looked painfully obvious that I was faking it.
“Well here, let me help you with your things.”
“No that’s okay, I don’t want to impose.”
“Nonsense, it’s no problem at all.” And with that she picks up my pillow. She was being too kind to me, I wasn’t accustomed to it. I appreciated the offer but I didn’t know how to express my gratitude. The awkward silence starts to creep in as I drop the conversation, unsure of what else to say.
Normally on a beautiful summer say like this I sleep in to my hearts delight. 12:00 pm was usually my preference. Today was different though; today is the day I am to be shipped off to girl’s camp for the 6th time in a row. I had been dreading this day for weeks. The idea of ‘camping ‘ never appealed to me. (Any normal person would not define what we were doing camping; We slept in air-conditioned cabin, had gourmet food served to us, and fully functioning bathrooms).
I could feel the bags under my eyes deepen from waking up. The early start was still fresh in my mind.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
I am awoken by the cell phone alarm. The buzzing drones over and over, but my eyes refuse to open. My fingers lock a death grip on the phone, about ready to lob it across the room. 5:00 am.
“Joy.” I rolled over groaning.
As expected, mom cheerfully prances down the stairs, a smile plastered on his face.
“Time to go honey, you don't want to miss the ride to Lake Geneva,” she said, knowing full well that's exactly what I wanted.
Six days and then it'll be all over I thought to myself. This was going to be the longest six days of my life.
Mom flips the lamp switch on, instantly blinding me. I jump up, covers sliding off with the jerk-like movement. I guess that's what I get for sleeping on the couch. My muscles stiffen up afterward. I reluctantly wheel my suitcase out to the car. Everything was already packed and ready to go from my late night packing session. I hoped if I didn't pack or even acknowledge the fact I had to go, maybe the problem would just go away.
“Come on dear, you're moving slower than a sloth.”
“I know, Mom.” I rolled my eyes.
She loved this time of year, it was the one week she got a break from me. I'm very vocal about my distaste for participating in yet another church activity. As if I didn't get enough church. I was already attending bible study in the morning before school; not to mention youth activity night and three hour sessions of church on Sundays. If there was a quota of how much church one person had to attend to save their soul, I'm sure I'd be set for two lifetimes.
The car ride wasn't horribly long, just three hours, two pits stops and one long jam session on the i-pod. I needed to enjoy my electronics now because as soon as we reached camp, leaders would confiscate them. Girls camp was supposed to be about “getting closer to God, and we can't do that if we have distractions from the everyday world.” It's completely ridiculous to me but....those are the rules.
My stuff gets dumped on the parking lot like every other year. I look around at the Wesley Woods. Absolutely nothing has changed. I've been coming here for the back 5 years and it still looks the same, like it's frozen in time. Even the trees look unaffected by time. The air stenches of the lake, just down the hill. I could faintly hear the waves lull back and forth on the small sand patch.
In all honestly this place isn't horrible, I wouldn't mind staying here for a week...it's just the program that gets under my skin. First year coming here, it's exciting because everything is new; Playing volleyball by one of the pit fires, climbing the hilly path to get to the craft cabin, even swimming in the sea weed infested lake was an adventure.
I close my eyes, to take in the nature.
“Welcome Tiana! Are you ready for another round of camp?”