When One Chapter Ends.

Another begins, right?

16 years. That’s how long I’ve been involved in some kind of summer camp setting, in one way or another. I was 6 when I first came to camp. I grew up wanting to be a summer camp counselor. Thinking it would be the best, coolest job ever. I learned countless songs and skits, roasted countless s’mores, and swallowed way too much pool water throughout the summers.

At 14, I became a counselor-in-training, one step closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a camp counselor. And at 16, finally becoming a Jr. counselor. I would work at countless summer camp settings on and off from then on. Each summer a new staff. Each summer new laughs. New memories. New lives being changed.

At the beginning of the summer, I knew this was going to be my last summer at camp. Unfortunately, at some point I knew I was going to hit a point where a summer job at camp wasn’t going to make sense. Upon graduating and realizing what I really wanted I made the excruciating decision to make this year my last. And as the summer comes to an end, it’s bitter-sweet.

There have been a lot of really high and really low moments in the many years of being employed at various summer camps. I changed a lot of lives, lots of tears were shed, many of hours of sleep lost. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Because I was made to be called, “Sloth” and be woken up at 3am every night. As we roll into the last day of summer camp, the campers will be sad because school is starting up but I’ll be sad because this chapter of my life is officially ending.

But when one chapter ends, another begins. And this upcoming chapter will be one of the best, one of the most exciting, one of the craziest. And I can’t wait.

I’ve had the travel bug, like every basic twenty-something has, and finally I get to fulfill it. I’m taking a “gap-year” or like my mom likes to call it, “avoiding adult responsibility” for the next 12 months before settling down and finding a 50 hour a week job with benefits. Which don’t get my wrong, I’m so excited to find a full time job but I’m also so excited to be able to travel and see the world before maybe never getting a chance to do it again.

Not only will I just be traveling but I’ll be putting that Creative Writing degree to use and writing my first full length novel (hopefully- fingers crossed) and of course putting together my second full-length book of poetry.

Our next chapter begins in Australia on September 22nd. And I can’t wait.

xx

Lauren Elizabeth

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