I remember distinctly that summer. It was a hot, sweltering summer, even for Texas. I usually went to some cool camps for engineering or science, but this year, my mum had to work the entire day. She couldn’t pick my up for a half-day camp. I had to go to Camp Carter, a YMCA all-day youth camp, you know, the type with bunk beds and canoes. Except I wasn’t allowed to stay for the night. I guess my mum thought I was gonna accidentally kill myself or something.
I was the sort of kid who could only be called a nerd. I had inch-thick glasses that were sort of round and a pair of protruding buckteeth. With that being said, my athletic skills were, well I’ll leave it to your imagination. Then pair that with your stereotypical american summer camp. Yeah.
Truth to be told, I was sort of excited for camp at first. The novelty of it all soon wore off after the second mosquito bite. I loved nature, even though at times it didn’t like me back. Nature always held a moment of peace for me. It was at this camp that I had a lasting experience about nature.
At camp, they assigned us into groups of 7 to 8-ish lead by one counselor. Our counselor was ok, I guess. She was nice, but she was way more concerned about her mascara then anyone in the group. Most of the kids have faded from my head, but I still remember a few. There was this kid in the group, Skittles, who was 4’5”, but proceeded to boss everyone around. He also had a custom blue baseball cap with his name on it. He was strangely possessive about it. And another, Grant, always tried to steal the cap. Grant was a little weird, of course I’m the one to talk, being the nerd and all, but Grant would cluck like a chicken every time someone called his name. Don’t get me wrong; He was a likable kid.
That day, we were going on a hike. All the other kids went “Ughhh!”, but I was cheering inside. I loved hiking. It’s peaceful, quiet, and doesn’t require any physical talent other than putting one foot in front of another. The hike we went on was fairly standard, but I enjoyed it a lot. I loved the sound of the sandy dirt crunching under my worn tennis shoes and the distant chirping of some katydids. I loved the tall slender grasses that grew off on the sides of the trail and wobbled in the slightest breeze, but were surprisingly strong if you yanked on it. All theses factors stuck surprisingly hard in my mind, but the most stunning was when I looked up.
The Texas sky was surprisingly blue, not even a wisp of fluffy cloud in sight. Now you don’t usually get really big trees in the south, because the soil is absolute rubbish, but there was a gnarled, tangled mess of trees framing both sides of the trail, all blooming with bright green leaves and dark branches. This contrasted so well with the clear sky, that I paused for a second. For a moment, I felt connected with nature, and it was brilliant. A gentle wind rattled the leaves like silver bell. I felt peaceful.
And then, Grant barfed, and that was that.