Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And it pleases me to have you here for just a little while

I will write about my trip (which was AMAZING) once I get some pictures off my camera. In the meantime, I want to talk about something else.

I spent four summers in the Adirondacks at a place called Camp Regis Applejack, or CRAJ for short. My thirteenth through sixteenth birthdays were spent there being incredibly awkward and LOVING every second of it.

Behold the awkward

At the end of every summer I sobbed. Sobbed uncontrollably as we loaded into the busses and I returned home hating my friends because they could no longer understand a word I said. "MOCHEEZMO" meant nothing to them, as it means nothing to most of you. THEY didn't know the entire score of RENT, nor were they able to do duets of "Light My Candle" with me. They didn't understand any of my inside jokes or the wonder that is Donnelly's Ice Cream.* So I did what we all did, and I hiked the shit out of my parent's phone bill.

Oh my GOD. We would spend hooooooooours on the phone. Filling each other in on gossip we had heard on our last four hour phone call to another state, or reminicing, or just speaking in what was essentially our own language. We wrote letters, we mailed packages, we visited each other...we were never out of touch for more than a couple of weeks.

And we returned to camp after our countdowns had reached zero (A lot of us had countdowns. Mine were kept in the margins of my notebook and on my left hand.) We would double check the numbers via AIM

"54 Days!"
"No 53!"
"Are you sure?"
"YES. I just double checked, go count."
"Okay. Hold on."

We hugged each other, we sussed out our new counselors, we checked how the boys were growing and checked out the new ones. We decided whether or not to pretend to be vegetarian based on the food choices it allowed us. And we made new friends. All within the first twelve hours back.

And I think it's the same for most people who went to camp, but because I never went to any other camp I refuse to actually believe this. There's no way anyone else on this planet could feel a draw to a particular place as strongly as we did. It's just not possible.

I write all of this because last weekend there was a camp reunion. AT THE CAMP. And I missed it. There were two main reasons for this:

1) I got back from France on Friday night. It was highly unlikely I would make it to the camp by Saturday morning.

2) It was expensive! The camp held the reunion to raise money for a camp scholarship, and I simply did not have the $225 to spare.

So I didn't go.

When I realized I wasn't going to make it, I was bummed. I would have loved to go, but a lot of people from my cabin weren't going either and while I was upset, I didn't think it was the end of the world.

Until today.

When the pictures started going up on Facebook.

I shit you not, I almost started crying at the office. Most of the people at the reunion were people I vaguely remember or didn't know very well - a male Apprentice Counselor from my first year there I never spoke to; a guy I had a crush on when I was 13, whose girlfriend I accidentally hit in the back with a door; the counselor from my second year who had to deal with the cabin of insane people I happened to be a part of. Only one person there was a good friend of mine, from my cabin, and I didn't care. I saw the pictures and wished so badly that I had gone.

Another friend of mine had the same feeling:

Morgan: gahhh wah i wish we had gone to craj
12:15 PM me: DUDE.
I'm really upset :(
12:17 PM Morgan: me too man
me: :(

They better do it again next year. I will be there with bells on. And some friends.

*Okay, if you happen to be driving in the Adirondacks for any reason, you NEED to check this place out. Seriously. It's amazing. Donnelly's Ice Cream. Write it down.
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