We’re in session at Camp Myrtlewood in Oregon – this is a guest post by camper Sean C.
My day was as wonderful as most are during camp. As usual, I didn’t have the best sleep. My mattress squeaked and shifted about at every slight movement; however that did little to dampen my spirits as I got out of bed.
My morning went as it did most other days. Delicious breakfast, lining up for check in, and morning meeting, which we ended up holding inside for the second time in a row due to the rain. Many campers were a little disappointed to find that it was raining, but in all honesty I loved every minute of it. Without rain, camp doesn’t really feel like camp to me. During the rain, most of my day was spent sitting below the giant redwoods to relax and enjoy the sound of the stormy weather, or playing music inside next to the fire.
During the first workshop slot, I went to attend the Gender Fishbowl, which quite a few people attended. The workshop basically involved grouping up with people of the same gender identity, then sitting down and discussing the positives and negatives of being that gender. I stayed for a good two minutes before getting a little nervous and leaving…there were a lot of people.
Part of me now regrets not going, but at the same time I’m rather happy I did leave. I had a wonderful time in the field with a group of friends. Our conversations went from really deep, to talking about how to make a decent cup of coffee. During our time together, the rain started to pour yet again, so we all hid below one of the many redwoods where our shenanigans continued.
Come lunch, I was absolutely starving. Around breakfast Oscar (a friend I’m in Creation Circle with) reminded me that we needed to find a spot where we could discuss the night’s event, bonfire night. By lunch I’d forgotten that our event was happening, and more importantly, that I was helping to set it up. But along with the slight nervousness I had about planning the event, I felt quite excited. I knew it’d be a lot of fun.
During Siesta I took some time to practice a song Jake (a really awesome guitarist) hoped to play at the concert the next night. Joining us was another fantastic musician. Jake’s a big fan of jazz, so we played a classic Gypsy Jazz song called Minor Swing. I used my Irish flute which…ended up being a bit of a challenge. I haven’t been playing for long, plus it’s not often heard in jazz music, but everyone seemed to like it!
My afternoon went as usual. I chatted, laughed, made music, danced, attended a rather random Candy party…where we just sat and ate a bunch of candy.
Dinner, check in, and evening meeting crept up rather quickly. During lunch the rest of the bonfire night committee and I assigned different jobs as well as planned a good time to start setting up. The earliest we could start was the end of evening meeting, which left us rushing quite a bit. We brought marshmallows (some vegan ones too), chocolate, and graham crackers. Sadly, it took us quite some time to get the fire going. Most of camp showed up and stood around in the dark. After a good fifteen to twenty minutes, we managed to get it going…which finally let myself and the rest of the committee relax a bit.
The night turned out wonderfully. Definitely my favorite night at camp so far. We played music, roasted marshmallows, and told some pretty scary stories…most of which were utterly terrifying. About half way through, Lief walked off into the woods to make sure one story (that involved camp) was definitely not true. We all laughed at their dedication, but got freaked out again when they didn’t come back. Another small group went back down the path to camp, leaving the rest of us to assume they went to bed. And of course they ended up terrifying us by standing in a large line along the path with their backs to the fire. From there, some other stories were shared before I decided to head off early to bed so I wouldn’t be tired for the field trip to the ocean the next day.
I’m graduating this year, so I’m sad to say I won’t be back at camp to experience it again the way I have. The bonfire night, the rain around the trees that tower up to the sky…this whole session, I’ll never forget any of it.