Friday, June 10, 2011

Band Camp and Canoes

June 1981:
Story thus far: Back in September, I'd managed to snag to attention of a senior boy, causing jealousy from a few other girls in my youth group at church. A good friendship followed, with him giving me hugs, encouragement, and taking me on my first group dates. A tiny detail I'd left out: Our youth leader decided to tackle the topic of sex and dating, and D was on the peer panel. I happened to be sitting next to one of the people asking the questions, and when it was his turn for the final question, L turned to me and showed her remaining list.

"Which one should I ask?"

I pointed.

"Does age matter to you if you like someone?"

D smiled at me and replied, "I don't think age matters so much. It's the maturity level."

And afterward, came up to me and asked if I was going to DQ with the gang:)

Okay; back to the topic at hand. I'd 'graduated' from Junior High (this was before the Middle School concept; yeah, I'm that old, lol!) and was on my way to Band Camp. We took the bus to Camp Limberlost, somewhere in northern Indiana, and spent a week learning how to march; flag moves; and meeting new people. As one of the 'new kids', I palled around with a couple I'd become friendly with during tryouts, but never really felt 'part of the gang'. On the last day, I met a girl while brushing my teeth, and we talked for maybe fifteen minutes. Didn't get her name that night, but four months later, she would become one of my best friends. I also developed a small crush on a guy who I thought was one of the camp staff. I was thrilled when I got off the bus at school and discovered him unloading equipment!

After band camp, our annual Youth Group Canoe Trip was scheduled. I hoped and prayed D would attend; surely he'd continue to come to events, even though he'd graduated? I was thrilled when he showed up at the church, hugged me, then invited me to 'stay close'.

I ended up sharing a canoe with not him, but my friend C. The guy she liked was also part of D's crowd, so our canoe followed theirs. We splashed each other; joked back and forth; had races; and even instigated a massive canoe tip 'party'.

After lunch, we decided to tether our five canoes together and just drift downstream, joking we'd see the rendezvous covered bridge 'around the next bend!' Nobody was looking at the time, until we discovered we hadn't seen anyone else from our large group, or even the chaperones. Time to untether the canoes and start paddling again.

C gave me a nudge. "I'm getting in M's canoe; go ahead; climb in D's!"

So I climbed into D and S's canoe and we talked all the way back to the meeting point, where all of us were yelled at by our youth leader for being an hour later than everyone else! But it was worth it, because that would be the last time I would see D for the next two months. And as the first time we met, we were in nothing but swimming suits. Ever feel as if you're the Queen of the Nile as you recline in the center while two strong men paddle their hearts out downriver? That's how I felt on that warm June day.

Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes. I enjoyed The Other Queen, but the constant 'I'm free....No I'm not....' got old after a while. I'd love to eavesdrop on Elizabeth I's court to see if the Queen was that paranoid about her cousin!


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