Huckins – “This I Believe Essay” by Megan DuFault

The first time I drove through the white gates of Camp Nellie Huckins, I knew it would have a place in my heart forever. The cabins were lined up in alphabetical order. The sun shone through the trees and sparkled brightly on the lake. But even brighter than that, were the smiles on the girls. Hundreds of girls, isolated from technology and the real world, gathered in a little piece of paradise for a short 2 weeks.

Each day, I woke up to the calls of the loons. The grasshoppers chirped from the woods. My bunk bed squeaked each time I moved and my mattress was full of sand. My hands were calloused, my nail polish chipped, and my feet were blistered from being barefoot all the time. My hair was up in a messy bunk like it always was because I hadn’t taken a real shower in 3 days. The lake was my bathtub now. Once my friends and I had even jumped into the lake with shampoo in our hair! I turned over onto my side and saw the 9 other girls who were in the same cabin as me. They breathed slowly up, down. Peaceful. I shut my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

It always felt like I had been asleep for 2 seconds when the bugle called and awoke the hundreds of girls from their sleep. Everyone rolled out of bed, slipped on their flip-flops, and headed outside. After a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, cereal, and chocolate milk, we were ready to truly start the day.

Each day of camp consisted of activities on the lake, in the woods, and with our friends. Our hair was always wet from swimming, our eyes stung from opening them underwater and from the bright sun, and we were always in bathing suits. Our arms were covered up to our elbows in string bracelets because everyone learned how to master making them. Even though we had blisters and headaches and stinging eyes, we were always smiling. The too little time I had at camp seemed to fly by, faster than the blink of an eye.

In those two weeks, I created friends and memories little did I know would last a lifetime. We created a bond that could only be created through Huckins. In those two weeks, nobody had the stress of school or boys or college or jobs. In those two weeks, we were all a bunch of girls who had nothing on their mind except for what color to paint their nails next and what we were going to do at free time.

So I believe in Huckins, and by Huckins I mean much more than summer camp. Huckins means friendship. Huckins means love. Huckins means adventure. Huckins means escaping from society for a little bit into your little piece of paradise. I believe everyone needs a Huckins, somewhere to relax and reflect and escape. Where’s yours?