Traditions

The following blog was contributed by camper Leah C., New York:

Silence.

Everyone gathered around the flagpole slowly, shoulders drooping, feet dragging in the grass, arms draped tightly around their friends’ shoulders. The traditional wooden “W” stood sturdily on main campus, waiting to be burned, waiting to wordlessly proclaim the end to our summer. Long, erie shadows, created by the glow of the moon, stretched out in front of us as we approached the flagpole. I sat down on the wet grass with my friends surrounding me and lifted my head to look at the black, clear, starry sky. Out of the corner of my eyes, I could see my friends doing the same, drinking in the sight of our last night at camp.

The flames engulfed the “W” quickly and within minutes, it was burning so brightly, it was hard to look at it. Yet it was hard to take our eyes off of it. Realization slammed into me, and suddenly it hit me that I wouldn’t see my summer family for another ten months. We would say our good byes, depart on our buses and planes the next morning, and talk to each other all year… but it wouldn’t be the same. With tears in my eyes I glanced away from the W and faced my friends. Looking at each other, and knowing from the expression on their faces, the same realization had struck them too. Tears streamed down our faces and we clung to each other, not wanting to say good bye to our best friends.

The W burned fiercely now, as if determined to end our summer. Everyone stood up and huddled in a group as we watched the “W” collapse. Sparks flew up from the pile of burning wood as it hit the ground with a heart breaking sound. Smoke billowed in the air, stationary above the ruin before drifting up into the night sky.

It was time to say good bye

Thank you, Leah!

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