Camp is a bubble. We learn that the first day we arrive onto camp-one of the few mantras we repeat until experienced. We, two yellow school buses full of staff, I the California chick among a population of European ladies and gents, drive us nearly three hours from Manhattan into the depths of Incarnation Camp. We pass by rows of maple and oak, miles away from the city and surely, civilization. We pass by buildings and wonder, “Is that it?” only to be immediately responded with “no”, and we once again allow the fear of uncertainty fester inside us.
Sometimes the bubble is a problem. Sometimes it’s an excuse we use to forget that camp is just as real as the moment we step back into our, frankly, ordinary worlds. We forget that space is but a concept and that our actions continue follow us even after we leave little Ivoryton, Connecticut. And this idea, this fantasy people give into, fails to justify the consequential actions and you’re left with only their remnants.
At other times, the bubble is the best thing we could imagine. Sometimes this bubble makes you realize, “Crap I’m alone” and you’re forced to create a family from strangers who came from across the Atlantic. You’re forced to step out of your comfort zone – cope with starvation, handle sleep deprivation, and try not to break your bank at Walmart. At least for a little while, you get to play grown-up. You get cure your own bug bites (and suffer through them), make your own breakfast (or scavenge through cupboards for food), deal with the consequences of your own actions whatever they may be.
Serendipity has come into play at its finest.
Camp bubble means you need to seek for your own happiness. City night strolls become trips to the farm to play with baby goats. Six day, 10-hour shifts meaning partying like an animal on off-days. Bored one translates into paddle boarding and skinny dipping. It means appreciating our finite summer, and for that, I appreciate camp bubble.