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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

session eleven: closing time

8/9-8/15

camp coming to a close is not a feeling that gets better, but it is one you get used to after 4 summers. this summer is definitely the most it has ever felt like camp didn't end prematurely. it felt like it wrapped up in a fitting way and that our mission on that mountainside was done for the summer.


it was a week full of goodbyes, where our last campers left, my team that i had worked beside all summer headed home, & everything changed. i got to spend one last night being silly & witnessing crazy things that only the quest team would do. they had a way of making every moment of time spent with them fun and full.


we had to shut down our camp & move to another kitchen. what's funny is that i was finally working in the kitchen that i had been hanging out in all summer.


even though i love my dining hall and all the good that comes out of that place, this other kitchen is a place i could escape to. a place where i could walk up the stairs and always be met by a hug, excitement, & joined in curiosity.


it was a week of confusion, never truly knowing what i was meant to be doing, but being met with grace anyways. i learned a lot, especially the fact that just bc i have the same job title as someone else, it does not mean that our jobs look the same. but i also learned that it is never too late to make a meaningful friendship.


i found friendships in this last week that i wish i would've had earlier in the summer.


BUT


i know the Lord is kind and His timing is perfect, so i found these people at just the right time that my heart needed them. there were conversations full of laughter, vulnerability, genuine questions, & imagination. nights were filled with silent discos, spicy uno, making s'more's w/ a blowtorch, worshipping in the chapel, & stargazing.


the last day of cleaning was fun, it was a lot of work, but being able to spend one last time cleaning with 3 people that i truly admire made all the difference. we brought a little bit of our Ranch cooking over with us, & seeing the looks on our friends faces when they walked in to eat was worth it.


our final meal together was at the place where the summer began & that felt so fitting. we worshipped together, heard about how the Lord had worked in each other's races this summer, & got to say a final goodbye. we got to sing songs that held a place in our memories of this summer, laugh at pictures of memorable moments, dance with strangers that had become family, & have one final shoshone front porch party.


the drive home was the perfect end to the summer, full of good snacks, few stops, uncontrollable laughter, content silence, good conversation, & listening to a playlist that has become engrained in my memory.


as i explained to a friend, post-camp blues never really go away. they are always kinda on the back burner, you always feel them, but the reality of your present day life takes over. and the only reason it is so sad is because it was such a good thing. so looking back at this summer on the mountainside, i can confidently say that our play had purpose, & that is all i could really ask for.

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