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Living with Camp Friends

Based off of our first few summers at camp, I don’t think anyone could have called us “close”. Katie and I were locked in a heated tetherball rivalry, Cori was ratting out Claire for hiding peanut butter sandwiches in her trunk, and Morgan was chasing Cori around the midfield. Aside from Cori and Katie, who are cousins, the rest of us would have been relatively indifferent about being on the same squad as one another.

Several plays and a few canoe trips later, we were CTs and it was a different story. We had talked about everything we were going to do and be in college and beyond, bonding in a way that only the cottage can enable. Each of these girls had gone from someone-in-my-crafts-class or a friend-of-a-friend to someone who knew me better than most people in my life.

2015 was the last summer any of us spent on Laurel Lake, but by the summer of 2019, we were all permanent residents of the same city.

While a variety of jobs and life changes brought us to DC, the idea of surrounding ourselves again with the people who knew us at our best and loved us at our worst was as alluring as any of the more practical factors. Picking up and moving to a new city sounds like a huge change- and realistically, it is- but at the same time, it felt as familiar to me as moving back into the Shang. Now, Claire and I live a short metro ride from Morgan and a quarter-mile up New Hampshire Ave from Cori and Katie- coincidentally the same distance from the dining hall to the fields. Even our giddy 16-year old selves couldn’t have made that up.

As many of you can guess, and some of you are lucky enough to know, there are a lot of obvious perks involved in living with camp friends. Last week, Cori served dinner with nut cups. During a commercial break on The Bachelor, Claire showed us her latest airbands dance to a Carly Rae Jepson song. Visiting Morgan’s part of the city has been called “going on trip.” Katie once led us all in evening circle on the sidewalk after a particularly long night. But there are also several unexpected reasons why living with camp friends is better than being the first to burp at the end of the Apache relay, so here are some of our favorites so far:

  1. Watching your other friends get confused when you say Lady

  2. Officially ruling out the others as the mastermind behind FDL memes, the shockingly relatable instagram account that perfectly captures camp life

  3. Feeling at home when there are pictures of your 10 year old self on the fridge of someone else’s apartment

  4. Celebrating actual birthdays rather than just mid birthday

  5. Making candy store any day your friends really need candy store/ ice cream store/ our personal favorite: bagel store

Support systems come in all forms, but one of mine out here in DC includes the four lovely Ladies that held my hands while I got my ears pierced in Cabin W. Thanks to them, I get to experience something my 10-year old self dreamed about: 365 days of camp.

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