I never thought the sight of a bus could spur so much emotion. Usually, a bus is just a slow-moving obstacle to deal with on the highway. But, as I learned this weekend, the symbolism behind the red Schrock buses that transport campers to and from CTT can elicit sadness, excitement, nervousness and hopefulness.
The crunch of the gravel under the bus tires and the cloud of dust in its wake brought the sadness on Saturday. When the bus arrived, it was time to say our goodbyes to first session; to say goodbye to the laughs, the friends, the CTT routine and say goodbye to being away from everyday. The red machine looked so out of place in the middle of our camp that the experience was surreal, but when Brandon Kagen, Miller Friedman, Sydney LaPorte and all of the others piled on it became evident that it was really there and this was really happening.
There was talk of our trip to Hershey Park, of the 300 White Spartans defeating the Blue Collar Comedy Crew in Color War, of special times and everyday activities, now all reduced to memories in the part of our brains where we store good times. It was a sad day and many tears were shed, but the great thing about life is that there is always a tomorrow. After we find ways to stay occupied for the rest of the summer, after the school year begins, after the cold winter and after Spring Break, we get to return to this place.
I hated to see the campers from first session leave, but at the same time I occupy my mind with thoughts of the camp opening next year and when we all get together again. And I can’t wait.
The bus delivered the excitement and nervousness on Sunday when it hauled in Brett Richardson, Olivia Kimmel, Ethan Polk-Trauman, Adam Tommer and the rest of the second session gang. The nervousness comes when waiting on the bus to arrive, and it is almost unbearable. Will the kids be excited for camp? Will they like our skits? Will they like us?
But that all melts away as soon as the red bus crests the top of the hill and you can see excited campers faces even through the tinted windows. When they all come pouring off the bus and hug their favorite counselors from last year and meet their counselors for this year, camp is right back in session. The excitement spreads through this camp and soon after the kids get here seemingly everyone is smiling and already enjoying each other’s company. BV kids play tetherball with cabin three, Cabin G girls start talking in hushed, hurried tones about whatever it is they talk about and tent boys and girls begin the awkward conversations we all had at that age. Suddenly, we’re all caught in the moment and excited for the next three weeks.
The last emotion, hopefulness, is a common theme throughout. We are hopeful that the first session campers have a great year and learn a lot. We hope to see and hear from them again very soon and we are hopeful that the things they have learned here transcend our small camp and help them in their everyday lives. We hope they remember us fondly and we truly do hope for the best for each and every person that left this camp after the first session.
We are hopeful we can make the next session an amazing one for the campers of second session. We hope each moment of this session is one that will turn into a memory they will cherish. We hope we have fun and we hope we can teach these kids how to be good people. We hope second session is a blast, even though we are pretty sure it will be.
And I hope you enjoy this blog. I loved spending the first three weeks of summer bringing you the latest news from camp and I am excited to get started working on second session. I want to thank the first session readers for visiting my blog and being a great audience. As far as second session readers, I hope you keep coming backing. This is going to be a great session and I will bring you all of the big stories here, so keep coming back!