Heaven on Earth

October 5, 2010
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Good morning, Camp Longhorn. Rise and shine. Be up and about. It’s a great day. Attawaytogo and rock ‘n’ roll.

The man who first spoke these words founded a place that I like to call “heaven on Earth.” Julian “Tex” Robertson most likely wouldn’t remember me out of the hundreds of children that attended his camp every summer but I will never forget him as long as I live. With Tex being the spirit of Camp Longhorn, he started the tradition of appointing campfire lighters who are campers that exemplify the qualities of a Camp Longhorn girl. After being appointed campfire lighter myself, I knew that to succeed in life, I should live by the characteristics that Tex instilled in every Camp Longhorn camper.

“Attawaytogo,” Tex’s number one phrase, is an odd combination of words that might not make sense to most people but, to me, it is a phrase by which I live. It is recognition of attempting something and seeing that task through. Throughout my high school career, I have always tried diligently in each of my classes by never giving up when I don’t understand a concept and by putting in all of my energy into studying. I also put this principle to use in my athletics. By giving one hundred percent at practice on the field or the golf course, I know I have done my best and have finished strong. Winning SPC Division I for field hockey and winning second place in SPC Division I for golf are two examples of strong attempts having great success.

After being required by not only my father but also Tex to use my best manners, I quickly realized that respecting others was a necessity to be successful in life. Starting at an early age as a first year camper, I began using my “yes ma’am’s” and “yes sir’s” religiously. When I talked with my parents’ friends, I could tell they were impressed by the fact that I respected them at such an early age. Now as a young adult, I am thankful that showing respect towards others is a way of life for me because it allows others to take me seriously even though I’m only a mere seventeen years of age. Respecting my peers was also a requirement from Tex, which came naturally seeing as my friends surrounded me throughout my time at camp. Beyond camp, I respect every idea and opinion my peers have whether it is on the topic of a political issue or the recent high school drama.

The ability to be comfortable with who I am is one of the most important things I learned from Camp Longhorn. Tex created a place where I could be completely myself with some of the best friends I’ve ever made. I learned that it’s much easier to be entirely myself towards everyone that I meet rather than putting on a façade. As I have grown, I have been able to walk confidently in the path of my dreams and I could not have done it as well without the help of Tex.

After returning to camp as a counselor this past summer, I saw something different that I wanted to get out of my short two weeks. Appointed in charge of fourteen young girls, I was able to teach these girls what Tex taught me. The tables had turned and I was the “adult” who was respected by young girls throughout camp. In this leadership role, I worked to make sure my campers caught the spirit of Camp Longhorn and I know they will continue to ignite the same spirit for future Longhorn girls.

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