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Pennsylvania Mania

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Last summer I went to Woodward Camp which we found out was in Pennsylvania
so we decided to leave a couple days early to see what Pennsylvania had to offer. We drove for hours and hours, as we got closer to our destination my previous visions of an urban organism quickly dissolved. It seemed like every kilometer traveled the houses would disappear a little more and the scenery would become a little more rural. Don’t get me wrong, coming from a small town in Canada I am no stranger to rural settings but this was the last thing I pictured for Woodward to be surrounded by.

Another couple uneventful hours had passed when finally just around the corner and down the hill there was the camp! It looked just as it did on the internet and in the flyers, but it was not written anywhere that it was an oasis surrounded by Amish country. The camp owner certainly went by the old motto "If you build it they will come." And came we did.

After recovering from my initial culture shock I realized we had left a couple days early to see Pennsylvania, we decided we would ask the information desk at the camp. To our surprise we were informed that there was a city about half an hour away, this was a relief. We got the directions and off we went. Driving alongside cows and fields makes any trip hours longer but we got there in what seemed like relatively good time. The city sign read "Home of Penn State", this city popped up in the middle of nowhere and seemed like it was built around the university. The city was simply flawless, beautifully designed, rich in culture and geared toward the young adults attending Penn State.

We found a wonderful room for the night and decided it would be a great idea to see what the city had to offer for night life. Basically it had bars and clubs to offer. We managed to find a nice little Italian restaurant that almost seemed out of place but more than likely got all its business from the less rowdy students and professors. After a very satisfying meal we thought it would be best to get a good night sleep and leave the late nights to the students. Our night was filled with distant noise of club music and party people. Nevertheless we got to sleep.

The morning was quiet, very quiet. The students were in class (or sleeping in) so we went to an excellent diner for breakfast. While we were there we asked why there are still students at Penn State the waiter replied that these were just the part time students and some doing summer programs. After we acquired this knowledge we could only imagine what this city would be like during the actual school year. It was almost hard to fathom that the entire city population would double when school was in session.

Another day went by and I was getting anxious this was our last day in State College and after that I would finally be going to camp. We thought that before we left it would be best to visit the University and see what a first class university looked like, it was massive. Taking a glance from the road does not do it justice. We toured all over the majestic campus; saw some classrooms and the famous football field. After that we walked around town and killed some time, and then I tried my luck at getting some sleep. Knowing how excited I was to go to camp the following day I knew it would be a challenge to get to sleep. Eventually, finally, I did manage to get some shut eye.

We packed up our belongings, thanked the receptionist, and just as quickly as we came into State College we left. Back into the rolling hilled prairies and hydro pole free territory. I counted some cows on the way to camp as this was the only site to see. After twenty seven cows we arrived back at Woodward camp. My sanctuary; we signed in and met our counselor for the week. I said goodbye to my Mom and Mark, then my friends and I ran into the cabin and called out our bunks.

Finally after a very unique trip I laid there in my specially selected bunk reflecting on the great time I have already had and what more is in store throughout this week. Pennsylvania was certainly different than the first image I had conceived in my mind, but it was by no means a let down. It is truly a State of rich roots, unique culture, and brilliant minds to come.





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