Tuesday, July 26, 2005

And another...

This will be short and quick...(so I said before I got off on a tangent. Or two.)

One of our graduating Seniors, I'll call him Alf, sang the following song at graduation. He's a great kid, not the best singer, but when you have the emotion behind the words that he did, who cares how one sings! He also played a pretty decent guitar.
I remember Alf from the past several years. He's grown up and matured--he even brought dress slacks and shoes for his graduation, to wear with his Dance Night T-shirt. How's that for a 15 year old?

A story about Alf. Last year, the camper I mention below that I just love was all upset about not having a 'date' for dance night. At Camp E., this is a big deal. This year, there was a date made within hours of the campers getting off the bus--these kids are serious about dates for the dance (The date was made by Alf, but I digress)!

So, back to my camper. It's the day of the dance, 2004. The previous year-her first year at camp, she had a date, but sort of got dumped at the ball and ended up in tears at the end of the night. This was devastating for me as well, because I hate to see my campers upset! I explained to her that at the ripe old age of 13, this would be the first of many heartbreaks (yeah, aren't I the sympathetic one?) and that while I knew it hurt, she'd be OK and have many more dances in front of her.

So, back to that day at dinner. She was interested in Alf and asked would I please ask him to the dance for her? I just love playing this role. So, I approached Alf and explained the situation. He said he had a few dates already (quite the player, this Alf) but when I found out that it was the nurses, I let him have it. Nicely. He decided that this girl should be properly asked and said he would ask her in a bit. I reminded him of what would happen if he broke her heart (not suitable for print here) and off I went. I told her and she was beaming. About that time, Alf came and went down on one knee and asked her to the dance. Of course she said yes! So, arrangements were made and he went back to his meal. My camper looked at me w/ tears in her eyes and a beautiful smile and said thanks. She was beaming. I might add that she was at an uncomfortable part of her treatment. While her hair was growing back, she was on steroids and had put on weight and stretchmarks. She wasn't happy w/ how she looked and needed a good confidence boost.

Alf was true to his word and treated her like a queen. He even gave her a corsage he made in the art barn! That night after the dance, she whispered to me that he kissed her. She again had tears in her eyes. I think this may have been her first kiss. I was happy to know that she would get back on that bus the next morning with some of her confidence restored and still with that huge beautiful smile on her face.(Disclaimer: we do keep a close eye on these kids--supervision at all times, but they can be sneaky when the sun goes down.)

This year, since Alf found another date, this camper said she didn't care about the dance. She wasn't all emotional. She just found herself another date, who is also handsome and a great kid! She also looks great--no more steroids! Next year she'll be a graduating camp senior and will be one of those who helps lead the younger ones. I'm proud to say that maybe I played just a teensy weensy part in helping her restore some of her lost confidence at a time when she really needed it. She's a beautiful girl inside and out and I think she's finally realizing that herself.

So, my short post that began about Alf turned into a novella about this special girl. I think she would also say she's had the Time of Her Life at Camp E. these past few summers.

Green Day
Time of Your Life

Another turning point;
a fork stuck in the road.

Time grabs you by the wrist;
directs you where to go.

So make the best of this test
and don't ask why.

It's not a question
but a lesson learned in time.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs
and still frames in your mind.

Hang it on a shelf
In good health and good time.

Tattoos of memories
and dead skin on trial.

For what it's worth,
it was worth all the while.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

(music break)

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.


Lula said...

That made me teary eyed. This is the type of stuff we need to hear about more often. The feel good inspirational stuff.

Jennifer said...

I just posted my last camp post. I think I've exhausted all of my memories from the week! IF only I could show the pictures...priceless.

farmgirl said...

Oh my. Full blown crying now. Where's that tissue? : )

You definitely sound like an extraordinary person. And I love your profile photo--that smile!

Anonymous said...

I think your story about Alf was wonderful...it brought tears to my eyes.

How blessed these children are to have people such as yourself in their lives. You do what you do because you share and then you share what you do so that the rest of us can experience it through your eyes.

Thank you.