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The Year I Saw Camp Friends

After my second year senior summer, I made a goal for myself to see a camp friend at least once every month for the whole school year. Prior to that year, I had only ever seen a camp friend once or twice while waiting to return to the shores of Laurel Lake. Having never set a goal like this before, it felt unrealistic at first, but it turned out to be easily achievable with a little effort. I quickly found that camp people are always willing to meet up and each time I saw a camp friend, it felt like no time had passed. Over that year I saw friends in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York. I found myself constantly looking for opportunities to spend time with my camp friends in order to achieve my goal.

My favorite of these meetups was when I saw Lady Shaina in New York City. My family was visiting my cousin over the weekend and I told Lady Shaina I would be there in the hopes that I might get to see her. It worked out perfectly and she ended up coming in on the train. We met up at an Italian restaurant in Little Italy, her with her dad, and me with my whole family and my uncles. It’s my favorite restaurant in all of NYC and that was the best time I have ever had there. Before then I had never seen Lady Shaina outside of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, despite her being one of my closest friends. That year when I saw a camp friend every month was the beginning of Fleur de Lis truly becoming a part of my everyday life. Now, five years later, despite us being all over the country at different colleges, I see my camp friends more than any of my hometown friends. I know this shift is a result of putting in more of a conscious effort to keep in touch and making time to see each other.

When I spend time with my camp friends it feels like I am experiencing a small dose of camp in the middle of the year. We discuss our favorite camp memories and laugh at all our classic inside jokes. Oftentimes we’ll say grace before a meal or even sing “Peace” before going to sleep. This time spent reminiscing and catching each other up on our current lives is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I look forward to spending quality time with my camp friends this FDL month and I encourage everyone to reach out to their camp friends and bring a little piece of Fleur de Lis into their daily life, this month and every month.

The password for today is "Camp Friends are the Best Friends"

Alex Putney

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