Camp Stephens 2004

Camp was amazing. It's been the best summer of my life.
It's changed me so much.
The very first night Ken made us write out our fears and then we went and put them in a fire and said what we were looking forward to the most. My fear was becoming way too home sick and regretting ever coming.
I never ever thought I could survive a 2 week canoe trip, but now I'm hoping I eventually get invited for a 6 week.
Training was so much fun. I did things that I never thought I could do last year. Like finishing one entire wall on the high ropes course, and climbing mount everest with James and Sarah. Ken was without a doubt the best person to be our coordinator. He taught me things that will stay with me forever and help me be a better person. All the Junies boys loved me.. The greatest night I had ever had was the night we all had a slumber party in Shig, and I slept next to Ken, and he just teased me the entire night. Saying goodbye to Harley was incredibly hard, and hearing he was gonna come back was wonderful. I got so sick those two weeks, but because I loved it so much, I still tried so hard. When we had to see our Spanish boys off, we all got really emotional. I loved those boys, and I miss them so much.
The last two weeks when we were counseling was amazing. The sunday we spent organizing things I was so amazed. I got see what camp is really like. Carolyn, who I was so intimidated by turned out to be exactly like me. Ken did a perfect job at picking co-counselors. When the counseling actually started I was going crazy. I had so much responsibility as a CIT of Junie girls, and my girls were shit bonkers. But Carolyn helped so much, and the other CIT's I had gotten really close with were always there to calm me down. I eventually even got close with some of the counselors like Peter(the Junie section coordinator) and Lindsey(Enviro) who always made things easier for me. After one of our meetings a bunch of us were on the deck of the dining hall, merbiling and watching a harvest moon. That night I told Ken how great of a job he was doing and how much I appreciated everything he had done for us. Since the beginning a few of the CIT's and I would talk about how much we loved Ken, and how great he was, but that was the first time we had told him.
Then the weather started to get really bad, and my cold was coming back. The girls all now hated each other and refused to listen to Carolyn and I. I hadn't been able to get a hold of Leif, or Maureen. I was getting grumpy but my spirits were still really high, because I was at camp, and that was where I wanted to be. Then I got some terrible news. The 3 CIT's I loved the most were gone, so I ran to Jimbo and cried on his shoulder. His Ints immediately thought Jimbo had a crying girlfriend. After I had calmed down I went back to my cabin. Sam sat beside me and she said something that just set me off, and tears started to fall again. Cheyanne eventually noticed and pointed it out to everyone. Carolyn came over and asked what was wrong and I quickly told her. She offered me a bunch of slots off and a night off, and I said no. The next day I was really anti-social and probably the most memorable/heart warming moment of my life took place. I had just come out of the clivus, and I went to walk down a muddy path, then I felt an arm hook into mine, and it was Ken. He asked how I was and I told him everything. He also offered me a bunch of things and just walked with me all over campus a bunch of times. After we were done talking he walked me to the manor where Steve was and stayed with me until the bell for dinner went. That night Carolyn and I had a CP that we could no longer do due to the weather, and Ken came and did it for us, and spent that entire night with me. Then Sarah, Rob, and Chelsea came back from Senior trail. I was making cookies in the kitchen at the time, and when I turned and saw Chelsea and Sarah with their arms open at the door I ran over to them and hugged them. I was so happy to see them I started to cry a little. It was amazing that the same 3 people I had met 5 weeks before and assumed I wouldn't like, were my 3 favorite people in the world. Camp does that to you. The last week of camp went really well after that.
Thursday was a day I will never forget.
In the morning Carolyn asked for me to sing Linger with her and Tara(the program coordinator) and Nikki(a counselor/Carolyn's best friend). I had sang the girls to sleep with Carolyn every night, and I was really flattered that she would want me to sing with her in front of the entire camp. In the afternoon Ken pulled as away from our kids and took us out to Raspberry Rock. He asked us to take a handful of jujubes, and then we went around the circle. For each black jujube we had we said what we thought was the funniest thing that happened in the past 6 weeks, for each yellow one we said the most memorable thing, for each orange one we said a heart warming moment, for each red one we said something we liked about the person to our right, and for each green on we said something we liked about the person to our left. Ken's heart warming moment happened to be the night we told him how great of a job he was doing. It turned out he had had a really bad day, and was doubting how good of a job he was doing. And we reassured him a lot. Knowing that meant a lot to me. After dinner we went to camp fire and our CIT group sang Leaving On A Jet Plane, and we just butchered it. A lot of us cried during it so it sounded ridiculous. Right after that I went up and sang linger. I hadn't cried yet, and after singing a little I looked for the CIT's and saw that they were all crying really really hard. I was still okay until I sat down with them after singing it and Chelsea told me it was beautiful. I cried so so hard after that. The rest of camp fire we were all crying. Ken who was running it called the CIT's up for the last song. And we all stood at the fire place and sang it/cried/laughed together. We then went up to the loft and sang the Camp Stephens song. During the part somebody does a speech they mentioned the CIT's and we all cheered. From there we put our kids to sleep and went to the dining hall and wrote letters home. Carolyn and I laughed because the majority of our kids were so hateful and we just wanted to write "Looking at you is like looking into the eyes of the Devil. Have a good summer. Love Carolyn + Cara.". After that the CIT's all went to the manor and wrote down where we want to be in five years, and what we want to have accomplished. I wrote that, and I wrote out our CIT song, and our Trail Return Ceremony song. After that Ken came in and gave us strips of a tent that said "CIT 2004" and we tied them to our wrist. He said "Starting tonight it's a contest to see who can keep these on the longest". Then he handed us all little baggies of ashes. And told us those were our fears. He then read us this big thing, that was the ceremony speech that turned us into counselors. I didn't cry until he said "A counselor is someone who lends their last pair of dry socks to a friend". And last session I lent my last pair of dry socks to Sarah. At the end of that session I told her to keep them as a memento. Then 3rd session when she was on trail, and we had some really bad weather, she told me she wore those socks.
After that Ken told us we were finally gonna get Ops back. Ops had lent us their furniture, and we left it out in the rain one night, so we went to our manor one day and our furniture had been flipped over with knives shuved into it. Then we went to it another day and it was locked, Steve got in through the back door, and opened it up for us, and our furniture was hanging from the rafters. Another day we came out of the lodge and noticed weird things on our roof, when we got closer we realized it was our furniture. Then another time they boarded it up, almost sealing Steve and I in there. But now we had to return their furniture, so we turned it into a scavenger hunt. Before we did it though we all got really tired. We all snuggled up to Ken, and Chelsea and Rob put on a show out the window. Once Rob broke the window, we scrapped that idea, and a bunch of them went and raided the kitchen bringing back quesadillas(a big inside joke between Jimbo and I that started the first day), puff wheat cake, muffin cake, bananas, and chocolate milk. Then everyone but Jen and I went skinny dipping. Jen and I just napped on Ken's stomache and he rubber our heads until everyone came back from skinny dipping and surprised us with irish creme coffee. Once we drank it we went to finish the scavenger hunt. The first clue we put on their ops plaque they're making. We pinned it down with all the freezie wrappers we stole from then. It said "Dear Ops, as you may have noticed the CIT's are gone, and so is your furniture. So we've made this for you. Feel free to let out your anger on the other CIT's. Clue: You've been pretty dirty to us" Only longer, and meaner. And the couch was in the middle of the shower house, right over the drain. And it was super hard getting it in there, so getting it out is gonna be pretty hard too. Then we put the next clue on it, and stabbed it with a knife. The clue led them to Raspberry Rock, where we hung their chair off of a cliff. Then put a clue on it and stabbed it with a knife. It said something like "Now for some trivia. One of the CIT's is gay, your couch is under his cabin.....along with some lube." And we put the couch under Wigwam, with a note that led them to the Kings Finger. There we put their last couch that we also shuved a knife into. That couch said "Revenge is Sweet, check your freezer" And in their freezer where their freezies used to be it said "It's Over Fuckers.". After doing all that, we sat on the roof of our manor and watched the sun rise. Jamie asked me to sing, which I did. After, we went to the bell and waited for the wake up to ring it so we could ask to do wake up. Tara came, and she said we could. So we went to each cabin and did the start of our CIT song "everybody, everybody, everybody...." then screamed "WAKE UP!", followed by "'Cause we're leaving on a Zag Fab, don't know when we'll be back again, oh *insert cabin name here* we hate to go" then we'd leave.
That breakfast we sang our CIT song for the last time. After breakfast we put our 5 year plan into a nalgene, along with my Mom's scrunchie, Ken's CIT bracelet that Jamie made all of us, and the Everybody Everybody sign. We took it to the secret camp site where we waited at after a super fun orienteering course in second session, and burried it. We're gonna open it July 16th 2009.
I loved camp, and I miss it so much.