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Back to basics

June 27, 2013

EAST

 

ALLISON EAST
News Editor

 

Two and half weeks ago I packed my trunk and left Ruston to go to the most magical place on Earth – Warner-Tully YMCA Camp in Port Gibson, Miss.

 

Since I was five, I have missed only two summers there. I guess I was busy when I was six, and I tried to make a point to my boss at 17. The only point I made was one to myself that you should never try to make a point to your boss.

 

Now, at 21, it seems really silly to take a pause from being SGA president, working and going to class to make less than $200 a week, but in my last two weeks there I have been reminded why it is totally worth it.

 

Somehow being thrown in the lake or hearing a camper say “I mean I can see your ballsack” when his friend asks how his harness looks takes everything that is slightly wrong in my life and makes it seem insignificant.

 

I lose myself in camp. When I come back to reality, I

try to cling to the person I am there, but it usually only takes a week or two to fade away. The girl dancing to One Direction with a bunch of 8 year olds and freestyle rapping to a cabin of 13 year olds slowly turns back into a young woman stressing over possibly making a B and desperately trying to achieve perfection.

 

But camp has had its downsides, too. When I was 12, I held hands there with Drew, the first boy I had ever kissed. When I was 15, camp was where I got the news that Drew had killed himself. Last week a camper looked just like him, and I remembered how important it is to love people while they are here.

 

So I do. I, the girl who literally cringes when her mom hugs her for more than five seconds, hang all over the counselors and campers like I will never see them again.My sister does not understand why I touch her at camp.

 

Each Friday night, we conclude the week by calling on the spirit of Warner Tully to light our campfire. We chant “Warner-Tully” until the pile of sticks in front of us bursts into flames. I realize that it technically is a chemical reaction, but I also realize that the spirit of Warner Tully is more real than any of those campers can imagine.

 

Allison East is a senior journalism and history major from Vicksburg, Miss. who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to ace007@latech.edu.

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