Monday, November 8, 2010

Separation of Camp and State

   I don't let any of my school friends meet my camp friends. I don't entirely understand why I've made it this way, but at this point it's too late to change my mind. To be totally honest, I'm going to try and figure out why I separated these groups of friends as I write this blog. So bear with me, but I should have a pretty solid idea by the time I'm finished with this.
   The camp I go to is Camp Timberlane for Boys in Woodruff, Wisconsin. It is the most beautiful place in the entire world (though that may be somewhat biased). This upcoming summer will be my seventh summer at Timberlane, but my first as a counselor. As I write this blog entry, I am trying my very hardest to restrain myself from simply telling you about camp. Almost every kid truly believes that his camp is the best, and I am no exception. So instead of listing uninteresting facts about Timberlane or nostalgically recalling events that are only special to me, I want to try and understand why I refuse to integrate the two most important groups of people in my life.
The sentence that you are reading right now has been written, modified, and deleted about six times. I am struggling to think of an appropriate way to phrase the point that I am trying to convey. Here is what I've come up with:

   My home friends like me because of what they've seen of me almost every day since first grade. They have had an enormous amount of time to judge me, and for me to try and encourage (or change) their judgements. If I wanted to alter my image, I would have to try and undo what I had previously established for myself.
  My camp friends like me because I can afford to take risks with my personality. At camp I don't need to filter what I say or do, and therefore am able to be the person that I enjoy being.

   I suppose that I'm afraid to mix these two groups because I can't risk letting one side of me be seen by the wrong set of people. I have worked very hard to become a person that people want to associate themselves with, but it just so happens that at Timberlane no one knows that person. Instead, they know a person who speaks what he thinks and thinks what he feels.

   So what's the main idea here? What's my point? What am I trying to say?

I don't know. I've lost track.

   But what I do know is this: Camp enables a kid to undo the damage that their home has inflicted upon them. Camp is not just a refuge, but a place where one learns how to define his or her self. Camp friends are pure in the sense that they do not have the preconceived notions that those at home do, so mixing the two would corrupt the entire innocence of camp. 

  I just can't have the people that know me meet those who don't.

1 comment:

  1. I totally understand why you wouldn’t want your school friends to meet with your camp friends. I am also a victim of this act myself. I do not wish that my school friends interact with my friends in my community. I have known my friends in my community for my whole life practically and I know them really well. At school, I can be myself and I don’t need to be afraid of those preconceived notions that you mentioned earlier. I feel as though I can express myself without fearing that my image would be damaged at school. I just never imagined my life with these groups of people engaging with one another and I hope it never happens. Thanks for helping me understand why I do this.