Only twelve hours until departure time. The clock was ticking, and I knew I had to get some sleep, but I just couldn’t shut my eyes. The song was stuck in my head and I continued to run through Forest Lake’s welcoming video that showed enthusiastic and smiling staff members running around a field of tall grass and towering pine trees. People who I had never seen, who I didn’t know would become part of my family, who would welcome me with open arms.
Being a first-time camper was not easy, especially at age fifteen. I was a wreck before coming to camp, worrying and wondering if there were going to be girls my age, if I was going to get along with everybody, if I was going to make friends, etc. But the thing is that at FLC, age is just a mere number. What matters is the desire to try new things and to challenge yourself to go beyond what you believe you can do. I never would’ve thought I would become such good friends with girls 2 years younger than me, and bond so well with the LITs and counselors who were a few years older. I never would’ve thought I would be able to hit a home run in softball or be able to swim across the lake and kiss Bass Rock for good luck. At Forest Lake Camp, I found myself in so many ways, shared a part of myself to others, but and most importantly met so many incredible people that I will always treasure.
When I was first applying to camp, I was thrilled to be a part of the wide variety of activities that camp had to offer. Drama did not really catch my eye, though. About two weeks into my four-week session, auditions for the play were posted at the bulletin board, with sign-ups for stage crew pinned right beside it. I was eager to paint and decorate anything, so I immediately signed up thinking it would just be an entertaining 2-day activity. It turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to put together the entire show, including designing the cover for the play’s program. It was intense work that sometimes made me want to continue on with normal camp activities, but on the final day when the show took place in front of the entire camp and I got to see the camper’s and staff’s faces, commenting on work I had helped create was definitely the cherry on top of a remarkable summer. It made me so happy inside I couldn’t stop smiling.
“If you get lost you can always be found, just know you’re not alone,”
No one comes to camp for the first time really knowing what to expect, but we all leave with one word describing Forest Lake Camp. Home.