Swoosh! The heavy door swung open as I made my way into Bunk 8. Inside, I was extremely surprised by what I saw. I had never expected there to be so many people. Everywhere I turned, I saw kids and families running back and forth around the bunk, unpacking duffel bags and backpacks. Although this scene was typical for most of the kids, it was completely new for me, because it was my first time at Camp Ramah. I had been to camp before, but only day camp, so the idea of overnight camp was completely new to me. I was scared, for I was not used to being away from home for such a long period of time. Suddenly, I heard my mom’s voice. “We found your bunk bed!” she exclaimed.
“I’m coming!” I responded, officially beginning my journey at overnight camp.
After months of talking about the idea of going to an overnight camp, I couldn’t believe that I was at Camp Ramah already. For the past year I had expressed interest, but since I was nine years old and going into fifth grade, my parents decided that it was a good time. Before arriving at camp, I was extremely excited for the summer, but now that we were here, that feeling had completely changed from excitement to nervousness.
Later that night, I lay awake. I tried my best to go to bed, but after about an hour I had already given up on the idea of sleep, as I was too busy worrying about camp. What if I never get used to being away from home for so long? I thought to myself. If I’m too shy how will I get to know people? Also, if I’m already homesick on the first day of camp, how am I going to survive four whole weeks? Finally, I started to relax, and I drifted off into a deep sleep.
The next day was my first full day of camp. Climbing out of bed the next morning, I headed out the door towards the dining hall with the rest of my bunk for breakfast. On the walk there, a girl from my bunk came up to me. Introducing herself, we started talking about what activities we had chosen, and it turned out that it was also her first year at overnight camp. During breakfast, and throughout the entire day, I ended up meeting several new people in my bunk. For example, I discovered that I had ropes with three other girls in my bunk. Although I was still somewhat nervous, I started to relax a little, as I was beginning to feel more comfortable at camp.
The next two weeks quickly passed by, for my schedule was packed with camp activities. However, after two weeks, the camp trip to Six Flags had finally arrived. Before I knew it, a stream of long yellow buses arrived at camp, ready to take us to the park. Grabbing my backpack, my bunk mates and I ran inside, excited for a whole day at the amusement park. After forty-five minutes on the bus, we had finally arrived at Six Flags. I quickly exited the bus, making sure I had all of my belongings.
The whole entire day went by in a blur, as I was constantly running around from place to place. I was completely focused on roller coasters and water parks. This distracted me, so I didn’t think about homesickness at all. This one day showed me that I had become more comfortable at camp. I had relaxed and I had become less worried.
Throughout the remaining two weeks of camp, all that was on my mind was camp activities. I was barely ever homesick, for I had learned a lot over the four weeks I had been at camp. I realized that if you are open minded to new experiences, you can surprise yourself by how your feelings can change. At first, I was close minded and had convinced myself that I wouldn’t be happy at camp, but I gradually got more involved and made new friends, which changed my overall view. As a result, I was excited to try camp the next year, and more new experiences that came my way!