Growing up the longest amount of time I would spend away from my family was the one incredible week I spent at summer camp each year. I would go for less than six full days, but I would still really miss my family and always want to call home to talk to my mom. Regardless of the fact I knew I would be missing my family, those weeks I spent at summer camp throughout my childhood where some of the greatest days of my life. And, because of my parent’s nudging and our mutually love shared for this little camp nestled right on the shore of Lake Erie I graduated from camper to staff and still continue to serve every summer there at Beulah Beach. It is an unparralled experience to be able to give back to a place that has given so much to me and helped in many ways to shape me spiritually.
But, even now at twenty years old there are times when I’m away at camp or now being at school eight hours away, that I miss my family and all the laughter they bring to my life. For me college was a dream because it was like a very long summer camp. I lived in a dorm with a bunch of other girls, ate in the cafeteria, learned about Jesus, met amazing people and lived life together. I attribute my love for dorm life and ease into it to my many incredible experiences at Beulah Beach. I love my family, but spending some time away from them at school made my love and appreciation for them grow so much deeper. My parents have always believed in my dreams and wanted what is best for me. They were always supportive of my decision to go away to school even if that means several long drives ahead of them to drop me off each September or to come visit me.
Living on campus and meeting so many people on my floor or in my classes has given me a beautiful and diverse family here at Nyack, but one of the most looked forward things is when I get to go home. I do love school, but just like when I went to summer camp there is some homesickness that sets in. At a certain points in the semester you would do anything for a home cooked meal or your own bed or to just be able to spend time with old friends and family. Just coming off of spring break I can tell you that nothing refreshes your soul and gets you ready to conquer that last bit of the semester like a week-long break to relax and distress. Getting to see relatives and spend time with my little nephew are some of the highlights. Also getting to reconnect with some of my best friends is something I always look forward to. There are many great things about home and school and even summers spent at camp, but it is all about the people you meet and friends you make. Through all the moving around I have come to learn that nothing rings truer than the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.