Have you ever had to wait for something?  Of course you have.  We wait in line, we wait for lunch, we wait for Christmas to come.  But remember the feeling of waiting to go somewhere so exciting … like camp? 

I can remember as a little girl waiting for my week of camp.  I had already spent the last few months mentally packing because I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to REALLY start packing until it was closer.  I had also mentally rehearsed all the possible variations of the first day of camp.  The arrival, meeting the counselor, meeting the new cabin mates, what activities we might do, what bunk I might sleep on and the list goes on. 

The night before camp was almost unbearable.  To actually KNOW you’d be leaving for camp in the morning didn’t allow for much uninterrupted sleep.  I would wake up several times in the night hoping I hadn’t missed my alarm, wondering if I had forgotten something in my already packed suitcase and rethinking yet again about just what outfit I would wear that first day of camp. 

Finally, the alarm went off and it was time to get up.  Then it seemed that time seemed to drag on in super slow motion.  I had already gotten dressed, gotten ready and eaten breakfast in record time … and it still wasn’t time to leave yet!  How was it possible that on school mornings there was NEVER enough time to get ready???

As the moments sluggishly passed, it was finally time to get things into the car and begin the 45 minute drive to Camp Gilead.  My heart and stomach almost couldn’t handle the excitement.  Whether it was Family Camp or Kids Camp, it didn’t matter.  The excitement was still the same.  As we left our neighborhood, we would pass familiar landmarks that indicated we were THAT MUCH CLOSER!

Then came those last few miles.  I can still remember almost feeling sick to the point of … well … you know.  As we grew nearer and nearer we would call out those landmarks … the bend in the road, that one sign, the dairy farm, and then a few last turns before we would finally “see the Camp Gilead sign.”  There were always more turns than I would remember, and the Camp Sign FINALLY appeared after making one last turn! 

If it was family camp … my siblings and I would compete to see who could “see it and say it first.”  If it was kids camp, I would inform my friends coming to camp with me about the “long standing tradition of seeing & saying it first.” 

There was the Camp Gilead sign, and we were ENTERING THE CAMP!  My nerves were on end, I was so excited!  There were the staff!  Some familiar faces … and some NEW ones!  Who were they?  Who would MY counselor be?  Ahhh….it had finally arrived! 

As we got out of the car … it was all I could do to just RUN to Pops Inn to register and find out all of the answers to my questions.  But … I definitely couldn’t do that.  Definitely not cool.  So … I calmly and casually got out of the car and began one of the most fun and looked forward to weeks of my life.

And THAT my friends is what is happening to many many campers this morning.

Welcome Day Campers and Junior High Resident campers!

Kimberly Mallory
Camp Gilead Program Director