Oh, Sophomores.. where to even begin??
As many of you know, this summer marked my first ever summer at Heart O’ the Hills, or any camp for that matter (WHAT?! Crazy, l know). Growing up in Hunt, I never felt that it was necessary to attend camp because I got to enjoy the same outdoors and experiences as I would at camp, every single day… or so I thought. Boy was I wrong. The memories that I have made growing up here don’t even begin to compare to the memories that were made this past summer and ultimately, I have four sweet little girls to thank for that.
Living with ten year olds for a month was definitely a new experience for me. They are crazy, full of energy, sassy, and spirited, but also kindhearted, innocent, generous, and compassionate at the exact same time. Despite the occasional breakdowns and fits, they always made up for it with their sincere apologies and sympathetic hugs. It didn’t take much to make them happy and it didn’t take much to spark their interests. Their curious minds and adventurous nature always led to new journeys throughout the summer.
Every morning was a hassle. Not some mornings, EVERY morning. It was a constant battle between me, the bugle, and the irritated ten year olds that I had to drag out of bed. No matter what the circumstance was or what exciting activities were planned for that day, they were never ready to get out of their warm, cozy beds. Once they finally awoke, I had to beg and plead for them to rapidly get dressed so that we would have enough time to clean the disastrous room before the breakfast bugle rang. Without fail, we went to bed at night with the room an absolute mess and still somehow managed to get everything picked up and stored away before it was time for inspections. I am still not exactly sure how they did it, but they always did, just like they promised they would, so I never worried about it too much.
At ten years old, you are still competitive, aggressive, and full of fire. No matter what the task at hand was, they always worked their hardest and gave their maximum effort. Whether it was a simple task I asked them to help me with or a camp activity, they always strived to be the best that they could be and that is something that I admire most about those girls. They never gave up and they never let failure define their attitude or their outlook on the certain situation. They always remained positive and regardless of the circumstance, they always had a contagious smile on their face. Living with sophomores for a month reminded me to smile often, laugh at failures, and remain positive and radiant no matter what life throws your way. Even though I wasn’t able to be with them every minute of every day, their infectious energy ensured that each day was going to be full of fun, new adventures!
After the long, tiring days, the girls and I returned to our cozy, messy cabin, Cypress Cradle. Just like the early mornings, getting those girls to bed was a definite struggle. After showers, a nightly run to the kitchen to fill up water bottles, and filling out our H&H’s, it was finally time for bed… time to get in bed at least. Every night, the girls finished the day with their self-organized and self-produced talk show, “Ladies’ Gossip.” It never involved actual gossip. Instead, they told stories and made up all kinds of imaginary scenarios to share with each other each night. Although these late nights probably had a lot to do with the early morning headaches, they were worth every minute of it. Listening to them tell jokes and talk in silly accents were some of the sweetest memories that I will never forget. The long nights and early mornings are part of what makes camp so very special.
I would have to say, ten years old is the perfect age. They are old enough to voice their opinions and do things independently, however, they are still young enough to appreciate you and aren’t yet “too cool” to be your best friend. Camp only lasts for four weeks out of the year, but the memories and friendships are guaranteed to last a lifetime. I am so thankful to not only have lived with them for a month, but also to have built the relationships with these girls that I otherwise would not have made. So thank you sophomores, for not only being the best that you could have been, but also for making my first ever camp experience one that I will never forget.