Sydney Paige McCutcheon

Camp Decisions

Camp Decisions
by Sydney

Sydney Paige McCutcheon

Sydney Paige McCutcheon

The summer I was fourteen my sister and I went to a Christian summer camp, Camp Decision, where I was a camper and she, a team leader. I didn’t want to be there, my parents forced me. However, though I went in with a chip on my shoulder, I left with a smile on my face, third-degree sunburn, and wishing for one more day.

My team leader was Mark – he was the type of guy I saw with the sunblock all over his nose – but he was cool, and even talked to my sister about finding a way to connect with me more (I guess I was kind of quiet – and that it was obvious I didn’t really want to be there).

So where is the boy in the story you ask? We’ll call him J. for short. Fourteen, blonde with brown eyes, he wasn’t the type I liked back then.

Encounter # 1: Our team had to come up with a cheer that represented each member as well as our team name: Drum Roll Please (it took me until near the end of the week to realize that was our name haha). Of course there was that girl who is the take-charge-type and very vocal (nothing against her, she was fine – we needed someone like her to help get the ball rolling).

We had about an hour to come up with a cheer and the idea came for us to have the boys play cheer-leaders and the girls be the football players. We would each run up and shout out our ‘names’ (boys were given girl names and vice-versa) and then we would line up for each individual to shout out a letter of our name – D-R-U-M R-O-L-L – with the last three people saying the word ‘Please’. I started off with a spot in the back but the vocal girl, let’s call her “Mary”, said we weren’t loud enough. She switched me with someone else in line and voila – I ended up standing behind J. and was given the boy name ‘Paul’. I said to him that I didn’t know how to talk like a boy and he gave the good idea, ‘Just hold your tongue and talk, like this -’ to which he actually grabbed his tongue and starting talking. It was funny and I was surprised as I followed suit, holding my tongue with my fingers and trying to talk. That was encounter number one.

(My sister was having her own interesting time. Their team came up with the name the Leprechauns but spelled it incorrectly on their sheet and so they were thus called the Leperchains. One team I remember had a good name, “Stick It Like Moses”)

Encounter # 2: Our team had about eleven members and one challenge was to fit all of us on a small box (since we had more players than other teams, we got to take off two) for twenty seconds. The plan was to have the tallest guys stand in the center face to face linking arms while two of the smallest girls sat on their shoulders linking arms; then the rest of us would circle around them and link arms with those opposite us.

Well, I somehow was last to get on and though I grabbed onto those around me, my left foot wouldn’t balance my weight as my right stuck in the air.

Mary called out to see if everyone was on and I had to say out loud that I wasn’t. Jumping off her section, she came around to me and said to switch places, her side had more room. I didn’t argue. Going on to the other side, guess who was my elbow buddy? That’s right: J.

But as I clamped a hand on his shoulder and stepped onto the box . . . I quickly had to step back down. I still couldn’t get a right balance and wanted to give up.

(Now, to this day, I question J’s motives – – – was he genuine in wanting to help me, or was his drive more for competition? Either way, he is still a good guy.)

He looked at me and said, “You can hold onto my waist if you want.”

Ah! I still blush at the memory, and laugh a nervous laugh! And what did I do? I stepped onto the box, slid my arm around his back and let my hand hold onto his side as my other grabbed someone else’s shoulder. Our faces were really close, and it was hot outside, so of course I make a comment about it, we both kind of laugh, and soon those twenty seconds roll by in a flash. We hunker down and move on to the next stage.

I had my camp crush after that, and took any opportunity given. My sister searched for me almost an hour until finding me on the basketball court where the dodge ball tournament took place. J was in the tournament of course. Right away my sister knew it had to be a crush – since when I did willingly watch a sport? Though I do like football now from time to time (go Rams! — or rather, go Sam Bradford! Haha).

But soon camp was over and onto the bus we went headed for the church hours away. My sister and I sat up front, and interestingly, J. sat up there too. I think we might have said one thing to each other. Meanwhile a red-head kid behind me kept trying to tell me jokes – I, still in my attitude, wasn’t so friendly (sorry again).

Through all of this, I did get steps closer with God. It is a great camp for kids to go to and if you or someone you know, or even your own child, needs a change in them, send them to places like Camp Decision and The Ramp. Sign them up, make them go. It will make a difference in their lives and one day they will thank you for it. Even if there was no J. I still would be very thankful that I went.

I wish I could tell more details but there is only so much word count left. I hope you enjoyed your summer and are excited for Fall. I enjoyed my vacation and may share details next month. Unlike with camp, I didn’t come back with a 3rd degree sunburn, only a few more freckles and a bruise on my scalp that makes me smile when I touch it. Now you might be asking for details. We’ll see, until next month!

God bless,