Tongue Tied


My days often blur together at camp, but not in a way that is inconvenient.  Time has a different meaning here, and although we follow a schedule, it’s more forgiving then the world outside camp. I keep track of the days in terms of activities and trips, because that is what my days consist of… activities and trips.

All too often John gets a text message or phone call to let him know that my day off is changing.  I have back to back trips, there is a trip that I really want to be part of, or we don’t have the staff here needed to facilitate class.  Whatever the case may be, more often than not my days are changed, which is never more than a very mild inconvenience.

There are four weeks left to camp, four weeks of activities and trips, two more closing days and one more opening.  Four weeks to try to teach a new group of girls the skills that I’ve perfected over the last few months.  Four weeks to explore the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, four weeks and I have to return to the harsh reality of the real work force.  Four weeks to accomplish my goals as an instructor, because this summer is about my growth as much as it is about the campers.

These next four weeks will blur together as haphazardly as the last 6 have, and I will spend my time covered in dirt and bug spray. Some nights I will sleep on the hard ground surrounded by giggles and incessant chatting.  Days will be spent fighting to be heard over the singing in the dining hall.  I will watch as they run, scream, laugh, and cry.

I took the job at camp selfishly because I wanted to experience the outdoors in a new way.  But I got more than I bargained for here, new friendships, new skills, a new meaning of the word instructor.  I have learned just as much from these girls as they (hopefully) have learned from me.

As these next four weeks fly by around me, I will sit quietly and watch campers teach each other.  I will encourage children to push themselves just a little outside their comfort zone.  I will meticulously tie my knots, fill out my forms, drive with a van full of kids.  Tired and a little worn down, I will face these next four weeks like they were the first.  Because as tired as I may be, I still get choked up and tongue tied when they accomplish that bar, hit that goal, or climb that mountain.





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