Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders were asked to write about a place they’ve visited that changed their life in some way. It can be a place they’ve visited on a vacation, summer camp, school trip, family reunion, or anything else.
This article was written by our writing leader Kathryn. Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!
My first time at Refreshing Mountain was right before Labor Day when I was 12 years old. My church always does a youth camp there (one week with no cell phones can be pretty nice, actually), and it was my very first time being old enough to go. It made me a little nervous to know that my brother wouldn’t be there because not only was it my first time at Refreshing Mountain, but it was also my first time staying more than two nights away from home without any family members with me.
The ropes course at Refreshing Mountain is really fun. It’s not too high, but it’s not low, either. I love going on the ropes course because it’s challenging but the people helping are super encouraging. When I finally get across and get to finish ziplining I feel like I can do anything! I also appreciate that there is a way to go across without the obstacles if you want to. I know some people that go who are terrified of heights. It always helps them to have the option of just walking across the bridge instead of trying to pass the obstacles.
At Refreshing Mountain there is a ¨Gaga Ball¨ pit by the dining hall. For my church group it´s basically a rule that once you finish eating, you walk outside and play Gaga Ball. If you’ve never played before, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the game. There is a rubber alligator ball in the middle of the court. Everyone starts by touching the sides of the pit with at least one hand, as one person throws the ball into the air. Once the ball bounces three times, you can hit it with only your hands. If it touches you anywhere from your knees to feet or if you hit it outside the pit, you´re out. The other way to get out is if you hit it in the air and someone catches it (like a pop fly in baseball). Basically, it´s chaos until there´s a winner. Some of my fondest memories of camp have been shared around this pit. Not only is Gaga Ball a fun game to play, but it’s funny to watch everyone fumbling and bumbling trying to stay in the game!
There is a little pond at one end of the camp. It’s not much bigger than a football field, but everyone at my church calls it the lake as kind of a joke. I remember that during my first full day at camp we had about two hours of free time. I didn’t know what to do, so I asked a few people what they were doing. When I asked my friend, Katelyn, she said that she and some of her friends were going to the lake, and then asked if I wanted to come. I decided that I would because it sounded kind of fun. She brought her ukulele and we walked down. When we got there, we sat on the dock and just talked. If remember one part of that trip, it’s this hour that we just relaxed by the little pond.
Our church always has a campfire on the last night there. It´s usually a time to talk about what we learned throughout the camp, and talk about fun memories we made. That was the first time I really saw how much I had loved being at camp. I had just kind of gone with the wind since we had gotten there, I hadn’t taken time to actually think about what all I’d done. That campfire was really the first time I started counting down until the next time we came to camp. The trip is coming up soon, and I can’t wait!
Every year when I go to Refreshing Mountain, I come back feeling refreshed and ready to go. Well, ready to go after I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep to counteract the excitement, of course! The first time I went I was a little scared of what it might be like, but I didn’t need to be! I had loads of fun and exciting stories to tell when I got home. I couldn’t wait to go back. I truly was refreshed at Refreshing Mountain.
What is your favorite camp activity? Comment below!
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