For the first week of my back to back summer camp experience, I was very local. I made the ten minute trek to New Hartford Connecticut to spend a week at Laurel Music Camp. I’d gone to Laurel as a teen and after high school I was a junior counselor. It was a great camp that was nestled in the middle of the woods at a boy scout camp. You lived in tents without the finer things like technology or flush toilets. In one week, beautiful music was made and the camp concluded with a concert where everyone got to show off their hard work. I loved camp. It was like like time was both slowed in accelerated. You were only there for a week but the relationships you made there were strong and lasted far beyond that one week in June. As you are reading this you are probably trying to understand why any one would ever want to turn their back on this place. Well...I can tell you because before June 26, I had been away from it for six years.
I can start off with the logical and mature reasons for not being at a place that brought me so much joy for so many years. I was in my cousin’s wedding the following summer and didn’t want to leave all my extended family for the week. I also ended up changing my major from music to english so I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to go anymore (I had a lot of conflicted feelings during that time) The more illogical stupid reasons were that a friend from camp and myself had a fling after camp that didn’t end up with us becoming a couple. I was heartbroken and couldn’t bear to be around him for a really long time. Add meeting JB and him being a bit concerned about this camp where everyone is scary close and that is why it had been so long.
The week ended up being fine. Though there were a few awkward “let me break into your social group because It’s been a long ass time since I’ve been here” moments. I got lots of hugs and was welcomed back with open arms. I ended up playing my viola, which was something I hadn’t done in almost as long as I was away from camp and I was able to hold my own. I danced with my friends all night the night before camp was over and I will definitely be back next year. It was really like the bible verses that I’m ripping off for my title. I was gone for a long time, I messed up and made mistakes, but my camp family took me back and loves me anyway.
As for Irish Dance, I didn’t perform for the camp or anything. But it did get to practice in some really cool places like an open air chapel and a boat house that had a killer view of West Hill Pond. My friend that danced Irish before I did, sat in on one practice session as I worked on my hornpipe and was really helpful. We will hopefully do something for the camp next year. :)
Part 2 is coming,