Together

Together

A Story by Samantha Lynn
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I have to read this to my english class and I don't want to embarass myself so critisize as harshly as possible please!

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“Welcome to Camp Kesem!” Was the first thing that was shouted at my face when I hopped out of the car that first day, and even though about fifty other people repeated this act, I jumped at every single one. I appreciated their enthusiasm and their attempt at trying to spread the camp cheer but it honestly wasn’t working. I knew right then and there what kind of camp it was. I knew exactly what was going to go down over the next week to come.

I was very nervous, you could say, it being my first year of camp and I didn’t really know what to expect at all. Also along with the obvious being that I just didn’t want to be there in the first place. It was my mother’s idea actually, to send me off. She said that I would come back feeling better than ever, but I had a strong feeling that she really just wanted me to get out of the house so I wouldn’t be sitting around, feeding her food, grabbing her pills, and then cleaning out her bed pan later. So I guess that is the real reason I decided to go. I did it for her.

 “It’s not just a camp,” my mother said to me about two or so weeks prior to that day, “It’s a special camp.” She called it. And when she went into the details of the camp, I knew I would regret accepting the offer. “Camp Kesem is a camp for kids of the ages 5-18 to attend if they had/have a parent, or both, that struggle with cancer,” is what the website said.

I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen. I had a scenario playing in my head. I thought that after my mother left we were going to end up conversing about my feelings and I thought that the only topic of the next week was going to be about her illness and what was coming for my near future, and I think anyone would understand if I said that I just didn’t want to talk of that stuff. I am not really a person to lay my feelings out on a silver platter for the world to look over in detail, and I thought that is what was going to happen when I first pulled up in that car and it made me uncomfortable. 

As the days went by, we did all kinds of activities, none of them depressing or about my feelings at all. We played games such as capture the flag, captains coming. One of my cabin mates taught me how to make friendship bracelets. We had pool time every day and made smores around a huge, blazing camp fire every night. I even climbed a big rock wall that was probably bigger than my house in size, making it all the way to the top in the end. Then every night before we all had to go to sleep we had a “cabin chat” where we just talked about non-cancer related life topics.

“My mom has breast cancer, stage four.” Pk, one of my closest friends at camp had said about half way through the week, during one of our cabin chats one night.

“Really?! Same with my mom!” I don’t remember why I said that all excited. It isn’t really a good thing.

“Ohmygosh, I have never met someone with the same story as mine!” We spent pretty much that whole night talking of our lives and it turned out that we live the same way, just different places.

“Me neither.” Now, it wasn’t really all that nice to hear of everyone’s stories. I hate talking about this, but it was nice to have people say that it sucks, but also have them actually know what they are talking about. I don’t know what I would have done without Pk in my life. She is like my twin, my other half. She is the closest thing I have to a best friend in my life.

I remember just over a year ago when one of my friends asked me, “Why do you even go to that stupid camp every year?” It didn’t make me mad. I didn’t get upset. Nope. I just answered my friend in the calm tone I usually talk with, because it was then that I knew exactly why I loved it so much. The question brought back so many great memories of Camp Kesem.

“I just hate seeing her basically dying before my eyes and there isn’t anything I can do about it.” One of the other girls said that were in the room one night. I didn’t say anything then. I was afraid a tear would slip from my eyes, so I just sat there in silence to avoid it.

“I don’t think there is anything we can do about it. Just make sure she lives happily and never argue over the small things that can be fixed. You never know,” was my counselor’s reply.

“Why do I love it?” I started off after my friend from school asked me the question. “I love Camp Kesem because it is my home away from home. I don’t have to tell everyone my story of why I am there because everyone already knows. And everyone is already feeling the same things I am feeling. Even though it doesn’t sound that great considering all that has happened to me, I love it because we are all connected by that one thing and that is what draws us closer together. We all may look like different people on the outside, but our insides are the same. We are all just scared little kids looking for someone to just listen to us.”

In a way Camp Kesem is kind of like the characters in the book Lord of the Flies. We are all stranded on an island, and we have to fend for ourselves, each and every one of us. We all feel the same and we all know that. We all have the savage side and we all have our humanity. And we all have our fear, but “fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.”(page 75) So we all have to learn to face those fears and deal with our problems. That’s why I love Camp Kesem so much. It’s because it is the place that I have learn to rid me of my fears and now I feel that I can accomplish anything.

Of course I have people who listen to me at school and at home, but it never fully satisfies me when I talk to them. I feel like they are listening to my words, but none of them are hearing me at all. Even the counselors heard my every feeling and thought so it was just as easy to talk to them.  I cannot believe that my first year of camp was almost 7 years ago and I have been going every year since then. Not only did I learn new games and new songs but I also accomplished even more than that. The camp has done so much for me since that first year so long ago. I am not the same girl I was then. I am self-confident and happy. I found the one thing that completes my life, my writing, and I have made friendships that will last longer than my friendships at school. Camp Kesem, in fact, is my community, and it may not be like most people’s, but it is mine, and it makes me happier every day to call it such.

© 2012 Samantha Lynn


Author's Note

Samantha Lynn
the topic: communities. and we had to incorperate our summer reading into it somehow so that is what the lord of the flies thing was at the end.
Please help me! I need it!
All critisizem welcome! Strongly encouraged! :)
Peace! <3

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Featured Review

I love it! There's one quotational error at "... according to the website at least." You forgot the quotation mark at the end of the sentence. Other than that, very good.
Is this a true story? I hope it isn't because it is never a good thing to have a parent have cancer. I know of 3 classmates who have had their parents die to cancer.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samantha Lynn

10 Years Ago

Yes. Everything about this story is true. Every sentence. I don't know who I wrote about this topic .. read more



Reviews

I went to a boy scout camp one time, back when I was crazy enough to be a member of those idiots; it was an absolute nightmare. By the time it was over I was ready to run out into the woods and just lose myself forever in the forests

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samantha Lynn

10 Years Ago

lol well, my camp was a bit different than that obviously
and boy scouts just sound awful to .. read more
Awesome, and can make a real connection with people who have been through something similar. Great job :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


A very good story,. Good for kids to go to camp. Away from parent. Allowed them to test life and become stronger. I like the description of becoming less fearful and having the confident to do more things. Thank you for the excellent story.
Coyote

Posted 10 Years Ago


I hope that I can find some like this. This is very inspirational... Good job!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Very well done. I don't think youll have any problems in class. The ending is nice, its personal, but not to reveeling. I like it. good job.

Posted 10 Years Ago


I love it! There's one quotational error at "... according to the website at least." You forgot the quotation mark at the end of the sentence. Other than that, very good.
Is this a true story? I hope it isn't because it is never a good thing to have a parent have cancer. I know of 3 classmates who have had their parents die to cancer.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samantha Lynn

10 Years Ago

Yes. Everything about this story is true. Every sentence. I don't know who I wrote about this topic .. read more

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Added on September 9, 2012
Last Updated on September 24, 2012
Tags: community, communities, friends, family, camp, kesem, teen, heartache, death, illness, sickness