Don’t Camp My Style

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This week is Camp Week which for the Storms means planning the full day of activities for a seven day, two hundred person, Christian family summer camp. Plans have been in the works for almost a full year and evenings are spent matching up new volunteers to positions that have been abandoned and reviewing the announcements I’ll give to the troops the next morning. It’s not exactly typical camping, we’re in a trailer (think RV without the car part) and wifi is attainable if you walk five minutes to camp center which is incidentally where you’ll find all the 14-17 year olds, peering into their iPhones like they’ve found the bread of life.

Anyways, every year camping is camping but there are a few things that are simply vital to the experience.

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1. Lanterns.

This year my dad bought a pack of fifty sky lanterns (I guess they’re cheaper in bulk) and we set them all off at the front of the campground. Typically you’d do something like this over the lake so there was nothing for them to run into, but the wires and trees were like a lantern obstacle course. My mom wanted every couple to set them off cause that was romantic which the men thought was a terrible idea, naturally. We were in full-fledged battle with paraffin squares and not-quite-flammable but very tearable paper lanterns. We had about a fifty percent ratio of getting them up in the sky to caught in the trees to burn while we watched and reminisced about “the one year we burned camp to the ground.” In the spirit of true dysfunction, one managed to blast through the trees and descend on a neighbor’s cottage while my dad simultaneously launched into a sprint and lost his phone in the grass. Truly a magical night.

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2. Pasta Salad

Cause pasta salad.

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3. Forfeited Convictions

Chapel starts at 9:30. Every year I promise myself beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will get up and I will run before chapel and I will be fit and accomplished and disciplined. Every year I sleep until 9:15 and then take a nap in the afternoon and don’t feel even a touch bad cause camp.

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4. Books

I consider camp the seven days a year I actually have time to read books and I take advantage of this by getting roughly fifteen books from the library and reading random chapters of all of them in lieu of actually accomplishing anything. I’ll probably do a total review at the end of the week but so far I’ve read Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller which was, in short, life-changing. I’m also making my way through Six Word Memoirs which is pretty much the coolest concept ever.

Sandwiched between an internship and a school year that’s somehow already radiating stress, I couldn’t be more grateful for a week of sitting still, eating s’mores, and enduring my dad’s teasing.

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