My mom gave me a crimson pillow last night with the FSU mascot thingie (w/e you call it) on it that she got at Linens N Things. It says, "Florida State University". I am uber-excited. We all talked about it at lunch yesterday, and I think we'll probably stick together to a certain degree (Rachel, me, Katie, Mike, Andrea, Holly if she goes, etc). Of course we'll make new friends, but I have come to realize that there are people I cannot live without. I was so heartbroken last year looking at Mike being his crazy self or listening to Melissa's theories ;) thinking about how eventually I would be without that. Meliss, you have to send me letters or something. :) The next challenge is getting into the theater program. I want it SO BAD I can't even tell you. Court found me a monologue coach who sounds awesome, so I'm going to talk to him some more.
I love how, when you love someone and they love you, fights don't last very long. Suddenly you look at each other and start laughing about something, and everything is okay.
I found out yesterday that I have one of the two A's in my Comp 3 class...so w00t w00t. As for my Keystone descriptive essay, I promised Rach I would post it, so it's under a cut. I got an A+ on it, so I guess it's good. :)
“Return to Childhood”
Over one hundred girls sat in wooden rafters around the campfire, faces illuminated by the firelight. I was among the sisterhood, fifteen years old at the time and one of the oldest campers at Keystone Camp in North Carolina. My presence at the campfire meant that it was Sunday evening, a special time set aside in order for all of us, campers and counselors alike, to gather as one unit and participate in a tradition that was over eighty years old.
Every Sunday evening after dinner, campers and counselors changed into their white cotton, collared Keystone Camp uniform shirts and navy shorts. Solid color bandanas tied with a special knot were tied around each of our necks, each color representing the girl’s rank within the camp. Campers wore navy blue, aides (as I was at this time) wore green, counselors and camp staff wore light yellow. All of us lined up and made a snakelike line up the hill by the manmade lake, gravel crunching under our feet as we walked steadily upward into the mountains where the campfire burned brightly. The area, partially closed off by lofty trees, seemed carved into the mountains somehow. One by one we walked to the end of a row and sat down with our cabin mates.
That particular Sunday was special, as it was our final night at camp and thus our final campfire. After the usual campfire business was taken care of, Paige stepped forward to tell her last campfire story of the session. Although I have heard many of these stories, this particular tale really summed up the meaning of Keystone Camp for me.
“These days,” she said, “none of you gets to have a real childhood anymore. Innocence doesn’t last as long as it used to. All of you are expected to grow up so fast and mature so quickly. You know more about the world than I ever did at your age. You sit in class and have to behave for hours at a time. Children are becoming too old too early. As I watch my own children grow up, I have realized the need every young person has for a place that will allow them to be a child, even for a little while. Your counselors and I have one goal in mind: to make Keystone Camp that place for you.”
I realize now that Keystone was that place for me. All my life I have been hyper-mature, the “mother” of my group of friends. Most of the time I am well-behaved: quiet in class, fulfilling responsibility after responsibility at home and after school. There is time for fun at home, but not the kind of fun Keystone provided for me. I felt differently there. An empowering sense of freedom and independence hit me each time I passed through the wooden entrance gates. I was free to be myself, because none of the girls there knew my academic persona, or needed to. My “good-girl” image slipped slightly, and this led to after-midnight mischief with the girls of my respective cabin. Mischief involved anything from sneaking into other cabins and writing in magic marker on girls’ arms to sneaking into the CIT lounge in hopes of finding soda and finding only lollipops instead.
I was free to plan my day, and I chose the activities I wanted, everything from swimming to drama and back again. Instead of anxiously awaiting report cards or test scores, I was anxious to play Capture the Flag and to spend extra time in the barn with the horses. If I wanted to be alone, I could go to the library just up the porch stairs and through a creaky wooden door with a screen for a window and peeling paint. Inside the library it smelled of the old books, old treasures to me. First edition copies of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and more sat upon the slightly dusty shelves. A piano rested nearby, waiting for a girl to play “Chopsticks” or “Heart and Soul” on its keys. On the walls, black and white photographs of former Keystone girls stared at me, watching my every move as I searched the shelves for a book.
On Cashiers Valley Road in Brevard, North Carolina, there is a place that stands still as time goes rushing by, not only for me, but for those who love it. It is where I experienced a true childhood time and time again. Today it is ninety-two years old, and it is amazing to consider how many hundreds and thousands of girls, most of them women now, have passed through those wooden gates. I am filled with happiness knowing that thousands more will experience what I have, will see my name scrawled in paint on wooden plaques inside all the cabins I was part of. They will lie in their wooden bunk beds at night and see the quotes I etched into the wood with a pen. They will feel what I felt; they will find the young girl inside of them.
I have my KID meeting tonight (yay Court!), which is at 6 when I thought it was at 7...oops. But I live really close to KID so it's all good.
Austin- huge hugs from you are the best, even if I have to sort of guilt you into doing it. ;) Hehehe.