As the big tour bus pulls onto the long never ending dirt road, the shouts could be heard for miles around. Branches scratch the sides and roof of the bus. Windows are open and the fresh summer air glides into the bus. The dirt flies up from the road and kisses the bus’ sides. Approaching the same old grassy parking lot, emotions start to fill up. Getting off the bus, finding the bags brought to camp, and walking the twisted paths, getting to the cabin is most exciting. The door of the cabin has a moth eaten screen covering half of the door. Rusty and paint chipped handles are on either side of it. They feel cold each time some one touches it to open or close the door. There are thin walls are covered in white paint which separate the cabin in to 4 claustrophobic rooms. Under the paint, there are black marker graffiti from previous years. Reading that graffiti makes you feel more at home, because it’s never bad. There are two main sleeping rooms with 4 beds in each. Even though it’s the first day, the rooms smell like dampness and sweat. It will only get worse as time goes on, with all those wet bathing suits hanging up, and people sweating after those hardcore soccer games.
Long winding paths with roots sticking up from the ground lead to every where you want to go. The roots look like twisted arms and hands waiting for some unsuspecting victim to cross it’s path and get dragged to the ground. There are big leaf filled branches hanging over the paths to make a nice shady place to walk under on those really hot days or when it’s raining.
When it rains at camp, people hibernate in the lodge or their cabins. As the rain hits the tin roofs of the cabin, it makes a loud tapping noise. Outside, things on the clothesline get drenched. From the window, the branches are visible. They do a wild dance and slam against the cabin walls. Lighting crashes, making the girls scream. The scream echoes throughout the girls section.
Big and old sits the lodge, painted white with green window frames and big wooden steps leading to a wooden porch. A silver metal handle is placed to open the screen door with. The floor of the lodge is very weak and every time someone walks over it, it bounces up and down. There are 10 white tables set around the crowded room. On some tables there are huge pinkish splotches of juice stained on them. The screen windows are scattered around. There is a light wooden porch in the back that leads down to lover’s rock and the sailing dock. From the dock you can see the dark blue water rippling all over the place. The big, white puffy clouds made beautiful shapes and gently drift across the vast blue sky. Pine trees reflected in the water add color the water to make a more vibrant lake.
All around the counselors lodge it smells like a mixture of men’s cologne and cigarette smoke and the TV is always blasting. The rocky path in front of the counselors’ lodge leads to the even more rocky boat beach. There is an old termite eaten dock on the beach and behind that is where all the mold filled life jackets are kept. The sand is very rocky and no one takes off ones shoes or sandals. There are a few sailboats gracefully bobbing up and down in the crystal clear water and the wind makes them point in a certain direction. The old volleyball net is hung across the swim beach where the sand there is really soft and hot under the powerful sun. There is a rack full of new, beautiful white windsurf boards. The fins are pitch black and very sharp looking, jutting out of the board.
Soon, the end of camp creeps up behind you, unsuspectingly. The last night there is always a campfire. People hug each other. The fire is beautiful. Dancing, singing, bright red fire. Whip, whirl, wildly, freely, madly. Out of control, snap, crack, groan. Inferno blazes with hatred and sorrow. Shrieking, yelling, shouting blazing smoke engulfed hell, bright red hell fire. Sugar is tossed over it to remind people of how loving this camp is to every one.
Staying awhile at this camp, beginning to relate to the wonderful life and basically getting a second family and home, a life lesson is being taught day by day. When it’s time to leave camp, no one wants to leave at all. No more going to see the same smiling faces every morning, waking up to the same people, hearing the same people laughing at you when you spill something, or hearing the same scratchy voices sing grace before each and every long meal. The tears come as the first steps are made on to the bus. Sorrowful sobs and whimpers fill the thick summer air. Random people hug each other and make promises to keep in touch, and not forget each other. As the bus goes up the rocky, never- ending road, the pebbles slap the bus’ sides. The crying gets louder and more annoying the farther the bus goes up the road. Soon the crying stops and people start talking and laughing again. The bus pulls into the shopping center parking lot and people get off the bus and find their loving parents, get in the car, and go home thinking about the summer, and every thing that happened to them. No matter how many summers people spend there, they will always have an imprint of that first summer, where they make friends. Camp is amazing.