Friendship: a tying bind that never breaks no matter what life may throw at you or the distance that separates you from one another.
A personal definition, if you will.
When I think of friendship, camp automatically comes to mind. Some of the most awe-inspiring people that have entered my life were the people that I walked through those red gates with.
The ones that have held my hand as I bawled while watching “my kids” leave at the end of the summer. The ones that understood why I was wearing the same uniform three days in a row–because they were, too. The ones I spent every waking minute with for three months and never once got tired of. The ones that embraced every quirk, weird statement, or ridiculously odd joke I would throw out due to exhaustion. The ones that would twirl around the Crider’s dance floor with me while being so offbeat but not having a care in the world. The ones that made saying goodbye utterly impossible while mascara trailed down our cheeks. The ones that will be in my wedding some day. The ones that will be there when I have kids. The ones that will never leave my mind. Or my heart.
The ones that became my sisters.
The definition of friendship is consumed by everything that camp epitomizes. I know that our campers have created these bonds that no other person will ever come to understand. Our staff has as well.
When you spend every fleeting moment with the same people, experiencing the same things and growing with them, then you know that these bonds will last forever.
The people that have come into my life because of camp are people that have changed me. They have opened my heart to new experiences and allowed me to see this world in a new way. They challenge me but also accept all that I am.
These girls are my family, the term “friendship” simply doesn’t do justice to the connection that we will always have.
As the tune says, “It’s right here at The Heart, that we’ve learned to grasp, the meaning of the real worth of true friendship, born to last.”
Amen, songbook. Amen.
To add insight on just what friendship truly means for a camper at The Heart we got permission to share a story written by one of our beloved campers, Kathleen H. Her love for camp is undeniable and this story will open your eyes and hearts to what friendship at camp truly means: