Timeline posts are a chance for me to get my life in order. Literally.
When we last left off, we were headed to California to finish my last semester of college. Before we do that, we have to pause for the summer of 1998. You know how this story starts…
Remember the bridge? And the sheriff? And the gun? Right. Let’s pick it up right after that lil’ episode, m’kay?
I simply would not be who I am today had I not made it over that blasted bridge and to Black Mountain, North Carolina. It was the furthest I’d ventured away from home alone for that long of a time. Merri-Mac is a traditional Southern summer camp for girls… swimming, canoeing, diving, equestrian, rock climbing, etc. etc. etc. It’s the kind of camp where you come for 2 weeks or a whole month, and most girls go their whole life. It has camp princesses and Indian tribes (I’m a Choctaw.) and pranks and songs at meal-times and chapel. You can’t get any more classic than Merri-Mac.
That summer, I met Sunday and Jess and Annie and Stacey and Claire and Baxter and a handful of others who would play a large part in me becoming me. It was that special, transitional time in college when things started to click… where I went out on my own and realized I was actually ok. I taught rock climbing. My cabin co-counselor put me on a horse and led me over (very, very small) jumps. I drove a fifteen passenger van filled with campers to the local ice cream digs. I sang from the back of an outdoor chapel… alone… for the first time ever (Annie, do you recognize your mom’s handwriting? I still have the paper she wrote out the song for me in case I forgot the words.). I played all summer in the woods with people I did not know, without introductions or history or grand intentions… and I had a ball.
Love that place.
Love you girls… miss you. All of you.
Were you a camper or counselor any summers of your life?
I was never a camper, myself, but I was a career counselor from college until I had my kiddos: camp counselor (Camp Lone Star, Texas), camp counselor (A&M kids’ day camp, Texas), camp counselor (Merri-Mac, North Carolina), outdoor educator (CHOSS, California), guest services and ropes course (Young Life’s Oakbridge, California), ropes and outdoor educator (Camp Roger, Michigan)