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My Second Home

by Elias, Camper, age 15

eliaswaterskiingI opened my eyes. I could hear the birds chirping their mystical songs. I could smell the fresh scent of the forest from which the rain had just rained on. I could see the sun piercing through the thin layer of clouds. I steadily lifted myself up from my warm bed, embracing all my surroundings. I put on my shoes and took a step out of the cabin. Beauty beyond the eye could see. Wildlife prancing around. The sun gleaming through the forest. And the amazing smell of pancakes being made. Boy did those pancakes smell good.

I walked down to dining hall to stuff my stomach with pancakes, toast, and freshly squeezed orange juice. By the end of breakfast I was so full that my stomach felt like it was full of sand. I went back up to my cabin, and realized how lucky I was to be at this camp. It was my second home. It was the place I could feel free to do what I wanted to do. I had so many choices, I could play baseball, I could wakeboard, I could even sail. All these activities just waiting to be conquered.

My friends and I waddled down the hill, slipping on the loose dirt. Our knees were scraped up by the time we got to the bottom of the hill. We were just being ourselves. Everyone had gone their separate ways when we reached the bottom of the hill. I walked over to the baseball field. Baseball. It was the sport where I could let go of everything and just play.

I walked over to the baseball shack and grabbed a helmet and a bat. I stepped up to the plate. I could see the whole field before my eyes. The sun was shimmering in the blue sky. A layer of dust seemed to levitate in the air right above the field. All the players were in their ready position waiting to field the ball. I got myself in my batting stance ready for any pitch the pitcher was going to throw. From the minute he released the ball I knew it was gonna be a fastball right down the middle. I shifted my weight back, turned my hips, and swung the bat as hard as I could. Crack! I could feel the ball meeting with the bat, from which a vibration ran through my body. The ball and the bat made perfect contact. The ball soared through the sky. Many of us lost the ball in the stinging light of the sun. Wherever the ball was, I knew we would not find it. Everyone went looking for it. We were all dumbfounded. Everyone was running around like headless chickens looking for a little white ball. But then, all of the sudden a high pitched noise traveled through the ether. It was next period.

Run! My friends and I bolted out into the lake. The water was slowly increasing in depth the further we ran out. 20 feet later we were no longer running, we were swimming. Two strokes then one breath. I was darting through the water. My friends had no chance against my experience in swimming. I finally reached the bright white docks. I grabbed the wake-skate from the rack. I looked down into the water to see a murky green color. I looked back up and heard a vigorous rumble. The boat driver turned on the boat. The scent of the gas slithered slowly through the air until it filled my nose. I quickly jumped in the water. The spotter in the boat tossed the rope from which I would hold on to. I held the rope as tight as I could. The boat driver yelled “are you ready”. I said that I was born ready. The boat driver revved up the motor. The rope tightened. I locked my arms and let the boat and my arms pull myself up. I was up. Nothing could stop me. I was gliding across the lake on my wake-skate. Water spraying in my face. The wind was flying past me. I felt as free as a bird. I cut outside of the wake then back in. I was carving the water. It did not get much better than that.

As I was swimming back from the dock, I heard the sharp high pitched noise again. The horn was very loud. It almost hurt my ears. Next period. I thought to myself as to what I should do. I proceeded to do something I love to do. I was going to sail.

As I walked out to the mini sail boats there were a assortment of mussels scattered on the lake floor. I had to be careful not to step on them. They have very jagged edges, that could easily slice through skin. After maneuvering my way around the mussels I finally reached my sail boat. I untied all the knots the previous sailors had made. I then carefully tied the proper knots to put up the sail. The sail was ready to be put up. I grabbed tight of the dry crusty rope and pulled as hard as I could. The sail shot up like a firework. It looked amazing. The wind was waving the sail in all different directions. I was ready to sail. I jumped in the boat. I grabbed the rudder and the dagger board. I slowly stuck the dagger board in the center slot of the boat. I pointed the sail towards the wind. I was off. The boat was slicing through the water. I pulled in the sail even tighter, causing me to go even faster. I had to tack very soon. I shifted my weight to the other side of the boat and pulled the rudder as hard as I could. I was now cruising in the other direction. The wind was blowing so hard that it shot drips of water out of the lake. The little drops were pelting me in the face. It felt as if millions of bees were stinging my face. But I fought through the pain. Nothing could stop me and the sailboat.  It was at that moment that I realized how amazing of an experience all these things were.

All these experiences at camp were amazing. I knew that I could not wake-skate, sail, or play baseball on the perfect field anywhere else. But every year I return to my second home to do the things I love.

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