If you’ve ever seen the Parent Trap, than you know a little bit about what sleep away camp was like. No, I did not meet my long lost twin sister there, but I did experience some things I know that I never will again. In the middle of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, I spent three incredible summers of my teenage years, under the stars. Many of you who know me may think that my favorite place besides home is Morgantown, West Virginia, but surprisingly enough, it holds a tight second place to Camp Bernadette in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Sleep away camp taught us things like how to play soccer, sail, dive into a lake, swim in different strokes, create things with nature, coordinate scavenger hunts and use our brain to complete different tasks. All though these were helpful skills to gather, I soon realized what I was actually learning instead. So here are three things that sleep away camp actually teaches you;
1. How to Not Be So High Maintenance
Ratchet as can be everyday. No joke. Clothes that don’t match, dirty hair in messy buns, no shoes for the majority of the day. Oh, don’t feel like going to the bathrooms? Find a bush and squat. Don’t feel like showering today? It’s fine, were about to swim in the lake. There is no need to look remotely close to looking good. It was awesome. No one cared, cause everyone was on the same page. When is the last time you said you could be completely careless with how you looked for two weeks straight? Probably never. But I’ve been to a place like that and it was incredible. Not to mention, I probably gained more weight here than when I first went to college. If you open everyone’s one trunk that they are allowed, it’s mostly filled with food. Where it would most likely be all gone in a week. And then our parents would send us more. It really doesn’t get better than that.
2. How to Just Go With The Flow
With the majority of things in my life I am pretty easy-going and I blame it on camp. We did have schedules everyday and different activities, but there wasn’t too much enforcement when it came to doing what made you happy. We came up with the craziest things to do almost everyday and more often then not, our counselors just embraced it. Whether it was swimming in the lake on our off time, having hour long conversations with the entire cabin, running around the campsite playing hide and go seek or laughing our asses off which took up most of our time. Anything went. Everyone was accepted and we all had this unbreakable bond even after a few days in.
3. How To Truly Be Yourself
My personality came out full force for the first time here and I know it’s because my friends and the atmosphere brought it out of me. I was funnier than I thought, prettier than I believed and more out-going than I ever expected. I stood up and told stories in front of the entire cabin, made people pee their pants (including myself) and was friends with everyone I met. I danced my ass off for the first time at a PJ dance party and I was forever changed. Not exactly changed, just finally came alive.
The scenery of the lake, the food that was actually really good, the field trips, the woods, the friends and the memories I have are the majority of why I am the way I am. Perfect weather, amazing friends, constant fun and never ending laughter. I can still recite the 8 minute long camp song we sang every night at dinner and I don’t think I could ever forget it even if I tried. Two weeks out of three summers that were complete and pure bliss. I cried when I left West Virginia but I sobbed when I left New Hampshire. Because I knew I was leaving a part of me.
03894 <3 “Once a Bernie Girl, Always a Bernie Girl”