Hello friends! Today we have our first guest post of camp! Emmie sent in a lovely photostory. I hope you all enjoy!
I hope you and all of the stuffies are having a fun time at Camp Happy Heart! I’m in my CIT (counselor-in-training) bunk at Camp Pineapple, and wow, has it been a crazy week. Let me tell you all about it…
When I get off the bus, I take a deep breath in and look around. Everything is exactly how I remember it last year. I feel the energy of the place and excitement bubbling within me, and I repeat excitedly in my head, I’m here! I’m back at camp!
In the crowd of campers, CITS, counselors, staff, and parents, I spot Tenney waving at me! I squeal and we run to each other in a big hug. “TENNEY! I missed you!”
“Me too!” She lets go of the hug, a huge grin on her face. “And after all the fun I had last summer, I think I’ll be a little bit more adjusted to camp.” We think back at the memories of Tenney’s reluctancy to brave the less-than-glamorous camp life and laugh.
“Oh boy, do I hope we’re in the same cabin this year!” I say seriously. “I can’t wait to be CITs, though. Maybe we’ll be with Maryellen!” We both look over and see her already making a new friend, a shy-looking girl with jet black hair.
Just then, Jade walks over to us, looking very official in her counselor’s badge. “Hey girls! Nice to see you back at camp. You guys are going to be in Willow Cabin, with the 8- and 9-year-olds! They’re giving you a smaller cabin since it’s your first year being CITs. I’ll be in Phoenix again with the seventh graders, but I’ll still see you a ton!”
A tan girl walks over to Jade and says hi to her. “Hey Bree! Oh, and this is Willow Cabin’s counselor, Brianna. She’ll be teaching you girls all about being a counselor!”
Tenney and I introduce ourselves to Bree, and she says, “Nice to meet you guys! Let’s head over to Willow Cabin so we can welcome our new campers.” Together, the three of us walk over past Phoenix Cabin, Buckhorn, and the sanctuary, until we finally reach Willow!
“Here it is!” Bree smiles. “I’m super excited to have CITs this session. Last session my campers were a handful and I had no one to help me out!”
“I’m so excited!” Tenney says, and I can’t help but agree with her. “Are we going to be with Maryellen? She’s in our dorm back at boarding school.”
But before Bree could answer, Maryellen walks in with a flourish. “I’m HEEERE! The almighty Mary…Ellen…LARKIN!!” She pauses, eyes closed and arms out, as if expecting applause. Then she opens her eyes and sees Tenney, Bree, and me standing there. “Oh, it’s just you guys.”
“Heyyy!” I say, running over to hug her, pretending to be offended. “Your bunk is over there! You’re with someone named Chloe?”
“Oh yeah, I was just talking to her! She should be coming soon. She had to say goodbye to her parents first.”
We had already gotten everything unpacked, our beds made, and even had time to play a get-to-know-you game by the time Chloe walks in, wearing a backpack and holding a big teddy bear.
“Hi, are you Chloe?” Bree saiys gently. She nods.
“Why don’t you come and play a game with us? We’re picking animal names! I’m Bree the Baboon, Paris is a penguin, and that’s Tenney the Turtle and Maryellen the Monkey! You know Maryellen, right? Do you want to come sit by her and Paris?”
Chloe looks overwhelmed at all of the questions, and slowly walks over and sits down next to me, still not saying a word. We’re having trouble coming up with a “C” animal when Bree checks her watch. “Oh! It’s already time for cheers! We’ll head on over to the sports field and learn all of the fun camp songs and cheers. Paris and Tenney, can you get the campers out the door while I grab their water bottles?”
“Sure thing!” I say. “Okay guys, time to go! We get to learn our cabin cheers and the WOG song, and all the fun camp-isms!”
“What’s a camp-ism?” Maryellen asks, and Tenney walks her out the door as she explains it to her.
I turn to Chloe. “I’m sorry, but you can’t bring your stuffed animal with you! We don’t want him to get dirty, do we?”
Chloe looks scared and hugs her animal tightly. “But I need him!”
“Why?” She doesn’t say anything.
Bree comes over with the waterbottles. “You go ahead and tell Tenney and Maryellen to go, I’ll stay and help Chloe.” Bree nods and goes out the door.
“Why?” I say again.
“Because…” Chloe sniffles. “My mommy gave him to me before they dropped me off. He’s supposed to be my friend if I don’t make any.”
“But you already made a friend!” I say, smiling. “You’ve made four of them. And I’m one of them!”
“You’ll be my friend?”
“Of course! And I know you’ll make even more. How about you put your animal in your backpack so he doesn’t get dirty, and we go over to the sports field for cheers?”
She sniffles, but looks a lot more relaxed. “Okay.”
I put her bear in her backpack and take her hand.
It’s definitely been hard getting Chloe to open up and make friends, but it’s so cool to see how much she’s gotten better in just the first week! I’ll send another letter as soon as I can, because I’m sure you’ll love to hear about the week we’re training dogs. Talk to you then! Welcome to camp!
From your doll friend,
(P.S. Just wait until I tell Chloe about a whole summer camp filled with stuffies! :P)