Summer Scrapbook

This is my summer scrapbook.

I talk all the time about life being made up of moments and of stories and about how I want to remember all of it, and how the way that I’m able to do that is through what I write. Committing moments to paper helps cement them in my mind and in my memory. It makes the silly moments feel sincere, the sincere moments feel true, and it helps me feel a little bit more like I have a grasp on the time I’ve lived through.

So this is my summer 2016 scrapbook. It’s a few moments—not all of them of course, and not even all the important ones, and some that are profoundly unimportant but make me smile—from this summer that I want to make sure live on for me, and maybe give you a picture of my life at camp. 

So here they are.

The very first day when I got off the train at JFK airport at noon and my phone was on 10% battery and I had woken up 8 hours earlier.  I didn’t care at all, because it took me about two minutes to find friends I hadn’t seen in a year and immediately feel better and more relaxed and just a good kind of different. 

The very last day when I had to leave earlier than the busses and I walked around the dining hall and hugged a lot of people and cried on a lot of people’s shirts and felt every human emotion in the span of 20 minutes.

The time I had a really hard day and I feel asleep on the main lawn and woke up as the boys in bunk 20 were trying to dogpile on top of me without waking me up. 

The time two of my staff members dyed the tips of my hair red and purple in the art room at 11:00 on a Friday night, using a dye kit we bought at Walmart, the sink we use to rinse the paintbrushes and a towel that someone had used to clean up tye-dye spills. 

The day off where we ate a lot of weird, delicious pub food and watched the world’s worst spy movie in an almost empty theatre and laughed so hard we missed half of the dialogue and 80% of the plot. 

The notes I got every Shabbat from campers and staff.  They are now securely tucked away in an envelope so I can look at them during the hard days this year.

The time during staff week when we laid on the ground in bunk 12 and played “two truths and a lie.” We tried to do impressions of each other’s accents, playing games that only work in the kind of setting that you find at camp—one that’s open and one that’s comfortable and one that’s not afraid to be a little bit ridiculous. 

The first time I ever got on the inflatables in the lake and I bounced on the trampoline, which managed to be both terrifying and exhilarating.

The day I scored a run in softball and got all my arrows in to the target at archery.

The time a couple of the girls in bunk eight tickled me so hard that I fell to the floor in the middle of the dining hall. 

The unit talent shows where I got to watch my kids shine in all kinds of wonderful and ridiculous ways. The skits and the songs and the gymnastics. The magic acts and the comedy. That synchronized cup flipping thing.

The 5-minute check in with one of my staff members that lasted an hour and a half.

The time the lower camp unit heads held up a meeting because we got too distracted talking about our favorite crock-pot recipes. 

The time we did karaoke in the beit am and one of the bunks did the most depressing song I have ever heard in my entire life and took turns shouting the words in to the microphone.

Watching Hillary Clinton give her speech after she passed the delegate threshold with women that I admire. Eating ice cream and talking and crying a little more then I’m proud to admit. 

The time I made eye contact with one of my staff members in the middle of bunk six and both of us started laughing so hard that we had to go to opposite sides of the bunk to cool down. 

So. Many. Hugs

The night off where we got ice cream and I ran in to an old friend who I hadn’t seen in about a dozen years and we sat on the side of the street and caught up on our lives and tossed chocolate chips at each other.

The weird stories we’d tell at unit staff meetings on Sunday mornings.  

Campfires and song sessions and tug of war. Sports and friendship bracelets and cookout lunches. Firefly at the lake. Gaga in the rec hall. Fight song and color war and trip day. Singing prayers before bed at night and leading services as a unit on Saturday. Cold showers and not enough showers, and that day that none of the showers worked on girl’s row. Disney breakfast and superhero costumes for evening program. Movies and trivia games and stargazing on the lake field. So many people that I love. 

The ongoing feeling of joy and of confusion and overwhelmingly of sheer dumb luck, at how happy I was to be here and to get to do this, with these people, in this place. 

I have thousands of stories. I suppose they are not important in the grand scheme of things,  but they are all important to me. I don’t labor under the illusion that just because I want to note a moment that moment is notable. But this is my blog and these are my words and I’m writing them now so I can read them later and remember how good things were. And of course they were hard and of course they were weird and of course not every day was a good day, but overwhelmingly, I’m just happy I got to spend my days the way I spent them.

This is my summer scrapbook. 

I’m ready to turn the page to what comes next. 

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