I loved sleep away camp.
Our church would take our youth group to Summer’s Best Two Weeks (SB2W) in Boswell, PA.
We would bike, hike, rock climb…
I loved the Blob…
…roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on camp fires, riding jet skis, scavenger hunts, the zip line, the water slide, and swimming in Lake Gloria.
We would have so much fun sleeping in cabins in the woods.
We would pack sleeping bags and extra blankets, curl up in our bunk beds and have girl talk all night.
Girls and boys stayed in separate cabins, of course.
The no purpling rule was in full effect.
Our activities were separated by gender, but sometimes we did some things together.
During a soccer game, I noticed this guy that was a little older than me chasing the ball down with his friends.
He wasn’t the most athletic, but he always acted like he was.
He would kick the ball at the goal and miss almost every time.
Every time I got the ball, he would be right there trying to steal it from me.
Although I knew him because his sister and I were really tight, I never paid him much attention.
She told me later that he liked me, I didn’t believe her…
He had thick curly hair that he wore loose in an afro.
I could see his smile from a mile away.
It was perfect.
There was no doubt that I started to like him during our weekend at SB2W that year.
I remember some nights, if we weren’t gathered around a fire singing songs and doing devotions, our camp counselors would do skits and games for us in the outdoor gazebo.
One night, when he entered the gazebo with his friends, he made sure that he sat near me and his sister.
I caught him staring at me a few times.
Maybe he did like me…
On the last day at camp, we gathered for praise and worship and a few outdoor activities.
I wanted to play basketball, but none of my friends did.
I didn’t mind playing alone.
After getting a ball, I went to the outdoor multi-court.
I saw him immediately.
He and two other campers shot around together.
It looked like they were playing Horse.
I kept my distance and went to the empty hoop they were not using.
It didn’t take long for him to join me.
When we were leaving, somehow he managed to sneak past the counselors and sit with me on the bus on our way back to the church.
He told me what school he went to and that he was going to the 11th grade…I was going to 9th.
I remember smiling so much my face hurt.
He was so sweet and innocent; not cocky or the pretty boy type.
He asked me for my number…
The first time he called, we talked for like 3 hours….
He told me that he was a virgin and wanted to wait until he was married.
I was relieved because I felt the same.
He asked me to go to the movies…
I said yes, but I knew I had to talk to my parents first.
I introduced my mom and dad to him that following Sunday at church.
They invited him to come back to the house before we went on our first date.
Of course my dad asked to talk to him man-to-man.
I dreaded this….
I hoped my dad would like him.
My mom liked him and my big sister seemed to.
He was easy to like.
It didn’t take long for him to ask me to be his girlfriend.
That was an easy yes.
I remember spending all my time with him.
If we weren’t on the phone talking all night or on a date, we were together at my house.
He was always there, hanging out with me and my family.
My big sister and I were not as close anymore.
She spent most of her time in her room when he was over.
I remember times when I would catch my big sister staring at us….
Was she jealous?
“No, she’s my big sister. She couldn’t be jealous of me. She loves me” I thought to myself.
Maybe I didn’t spend enough time with her…
Maybe I was being selfish…
Maybe I was not being sensitive to her not having a boyfriend…
Maybe I was not a good sister….
(Part 7 coming soon)