“Welcome to Camp!” you inevitably hear over and over again from very peppy people all inevitably wearing the same bright green shirt. Everyone has a smile on his face- they seem nice.
You don’t have much time to think about it, however, (thank God! It’s all too overwhelming!) because you’re amid all of the hustle and bustle of people moving in and you yourself have to lug your own stuff into your own cabin.
Huff and puff a little bit to catch your breath and take a look around the cabin. You and your cabin-mates might need to move some of the bunk-beds to maximize the space. Another girl is already there, making her bed away from the window. “I hope you don’t mind the bed by the window- I’m just not real comfortable there.”
“No, that’s fine,” you reply as you begin to load your own things onto your own bed.
But you’re saved from having to say much more (which is good because you feel really awkward being in the room with this girl you’ve never met before but are expected to get along with) because your counselor, another smiling face, comes to greet you. She introduces herself and assures you that you can find her around helping all of the girls in the cabin move in today and that you shouldn’t hesitate to ask her any questions that come up.
Suddenly, you feel a little better about being at camp. Which is weird because you don’t really know this girl, but you feel like you do. Your parents seem assured, too, that you are good hands. After all, you’re their first-born child and therefore the first one to go off to camp.
Gradually, some odd hours pass and more and more girls are coming in and out of the cabin. Another girl has taken the other bed next to yours. You learn her name is Maddie, and the other girl that you met before is Betsy. As the three of you begin to talk more, you discover some things you have in common. Maddie loves Frozen just as much as you do, and you’ve already agreed to have a sing-along to the CD one night this week; Betsy plays the tuba and will be in the same band that you’re playing the sax for. You think you might actually become friends with these girls.
Eventually, you have to say good-bye to your Mom and Dad. Wow, this is emotional! “We’ll see each other soon,” you all say to one another. It helps you from being too sad. “Have fun- but not too much fun!” your mom can’t help but add just before she shuts the door behind her.
The cabin feels empty. You don’t know what to do with yourself. Those girls you met earlier were nice, but you don’t feel like you can ask them to go to dinner at the cafeteria with you. Somehow, it all works out, though, because you all end up going to dinner together anyway, and both the food and the company are better than you expected.
You get a text message from your mom telling you that the only reason she didn’t cry when they dropped you of is because she know she wouldn’t be able to stop. You’re quite happy to hear that.
Your counselor herds you to an all-camp bonfire. This is after you’ve already had a cabin meeting. You’re still really excited and as of yet unaware that come Tuesday, you won’t be so excited about the cabin meetings and bonfires. But tonight a bluegrass band is playing and you’re all just going to have a hoedown in solidarity with one another on the first night of a new experience. When you finally go back to your cabin for the night, you think to yourself, “My first day of camp wasn’t so bad.”
The next few days go by pretty smoothly as you find yourself becoming more and more familiar with and comfortable around camp. Your counselor shepherds you and your cabin-mates from activity to activity, and they organize activities for you and your cabin-mates to get to know one another better. You’ve started to become friends with the girls whose beds are closest to yours.
But soon the bonfires become boring, and you don’t feel like going anymore. You’d rather hang out in the cabin with your new friends. You start to realize just how much like children you’ve been treated over the past week, and that diminishes your enjoyment of these activities. You’re more ready to embrace adulthood than you were at the beginning of the week.
And finally, at the last bonfire, you’re please to hear the words, “Orientation is over. Welcome to college!”
Wait… what?!?! Orientation? College?
Try rereading the story with the idea in mind that this satire is about moving into college for the first time and the subsequent orientation week, and not about a week at camp. I’m sure you can figure out what words such as “cabin” and “counselor” are actually referring to 😉
Thanks for taking a saunter through Camp Class of 2018, also known as Camp Freshman!