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Holly McCamant: Best camp experience: Cherith provides sailing, Oreos and God

Every year, starting the summer after 4th grade, I have gone to Camp Cherith for a week.

Even though there are plenty of people in the Detroit Lakes, Frazee, and Vergas area, most of us have never even heard of the camp despite the fact that it’s located right in the Vergas Trails (chances are, you’ve heard of that place).

This year, I got a cabin that got along really well. Every year I get a good cabin, I have a great time, and this year was no exception.

The first amazing thing that happened was that I got into sailing for an activity. I know that most people wouldn’t consider that amazing, but I absolutely adore sailing.

Our instructor, this year was the one who taught me on my first year. This was my third year, and I was a lot better at sailing than the last time she taught me, but I still loved the experience.

The part about sailing I like is that I am so close to the water. I took two girls sailing during free time once, and they agreed – the best part about sailing is the intimacy and closeness.

The other part of our day that I looked forward to was the Evening Division Games. On the first night, we split into teams and had to do all these ridiculous challenges. Our team was the Ladybug Hornets, and I am proud to say that our group won the games for that night, especially since we were in about third place most of the night.

I think we kind of stepped up our game after I finally won an event for our team by memorizing more of our theme verse in one minute than the other groups’ candidates. Then we had a fruit roll eating relay, a race to see how many Kleenexes someone from our team could pull out in a minute, a chance to build a structure out of those tissues, a race to take of the tops of Oreo cookies the fastest, and finally, a cup stacking race.

We were ecstatic when we won, especially since we got the remaining Oreos.

These evening games continued until Thursday night. Thursday night is all camp night, which means that the whole camp is split into about eight groups; taking about one person from each cabin.

Every week there is a different theme, and this week’s theme was Pink, Pirates and Pixie Dust. That theme set us up for a perfect Peter Pan all camp night that transported us to Neverland.

We ran around camp doing activities to get pixy dust to save the captured Tinker Bell from Captain Hook. It wasn’t always easy. My pirate jig was kind of a disaster, and we had to help our adorable little pathfinder who got scared of the only male on camp playing a pirate, but the whole night was fun.

In the end, Peter Pan finally stopped climbing on the Trailblazer roof, and Captain Hook and that “scary” pirate were chased into the outhouse.

Even though this year’s all camp was the best one so far, it wasn’t the best part of camp. The people who work at Camp Cherith don’t just teach about God, they live and breathe Christ. They are the reason my relationship with God has strengthened and why so many people come back year after year.

After what they’ve taught me, I have become a better, stronger person. The people there have made camp so meaningful that the only thing I don’t like about camp is when the warm water runs out. I have to do the hokey pokey while taking a shower, so I don’t freeze to death.

Next year, I will be old enough to start my counselor training. C.I.L.T. (Campers In Leadership Training) takes two weeks for two years at camp, meetings outside of camp and a lot of intense training. However, I’m willing to do it.

I have wanted to be a counselor at Camp Cherith since I the first summer I went there, and that goal is not changing any time soon.

Holly McCamanat is a sophomore at Frazee-Vergas High School.