Tera Lyons inspired by camp experience

Everyone remembers “American Pie” and the famous line that goes, “this one time at band camp.”

Well, suddenly I know exactly how it feels to overuse that statement.

Take away the “American Pie” reference and any type of connotation that comes with it, and you get what I have been saying since I have been away from the camp I worked at all summer.

Every little thing reminds me of a story, every tagged picture on Facebook has a memory, every phone call or wall post saying “I miss you” or “remember when” either brings a smile to my face or a tear to my eyes.

It feels as if half of my heart is lying on the mountainside in Pennsylvania, where I said all my goodbyes and gave camp one last look. When I left, it felt as if I was being torn in two and like I was leaving family.

I remember crying when giving my best friend one last hug at the airport, and spending the moments before my plane took off wishing I could go back.

Those weeks at camp, I became closer to people than I ever thought possible. It was not just the trips to New York or Philadelphia; it was the moments where we stayed up late talking about everything and nothing.

This summer I met my best friends, but I also learned how to live.

I learned to stop worrying about the trivial pieces of life and to live in the moment.

Every morning, I got to wake up knowing that I was going to teach kids with as much passion for photography as I had.

I remember photo hikes in the pouring rain, and scavenger hunts that led the kids racing around camp.

It was the smiles on their faces after every activity that let me know if I was doing a good job.

The people I met this summer were from all over the world, including the United States, England, Australia and Wales.

I remember all the accents and how they were incredibly obvious at first, but as weeks went on, they began to blend and we created our own mixed accent that brought together all our cultures.

They inspired me to want to travel, and I know that if I went to any of these places, I would have a place to stay and a tour guide in the morning.

So, even on the worst of days, with tests, homework, sports or drama, I know I will always have camp.

In the words of our 2011 Alma Mater, “Lindenmere, one heart, one home.”

I will hold on to that until I am there again.

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