No matter where I am, listening to You've got a friend, by James Taylor evokes memories that will truly last a lifetime. For around a decade, I have been attending an overnight camp in the poconos called Camp Canadensis. Each summer ends with a competitive and enjoyable color war, which eventually ends in my personal favorite event at camp, the sing.
The sing unites the entire camp after a week of competition, and enables everyone to finally sing the songs they had prepared so diligently to learn. After sing, the judges tally up the scores, and the entire camp community watches a photo montage of the oldest campers and their transformation over the years at camp. The song You’ve Got a Friend plays in the background, as everyone in the room sings along with the soundtrack, “You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am I'll come running, oh yeah baby to see you again. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, (SEASONS) all you got to do is call (COLLECT) and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah. You've got a friend
As the youngest campers sit in the front of the room, they look up to the oldest campers whose faces appear on the screen. New campers, confused by what is going on, realize that this song means so much to everyone. All of the returning campers and staff sing the lyrics with pride. Overpowering the singing is cries from the oldest campers, as they cannot comprehend how quickly their camper experience has gone by, especially their CIT summer. Every year at camp during sing I always said to my
friends, “I can not wait until we are watching ourselves on the screen!” However, as the oldest age group in camp this past summer, I was shocked by the emotional toll this song pushed on me. Fear and sadness overpowered the lyrics, as I realized I had finally become one of the big kids on the screen. I had no idea how quickly time would fly, and
I found myself wishing I could be a little kid again to relive these indescribable summers.
Whenever the song comes on during the sing, our camp family adds their own words, making this song special to our camp. The rhythm, the beat, and the tune enlightens every single person in the room with a sense of pride in our camp family and home away from home. This past summer when I was the oldest camper in the room, it hit me why this song was so special. I now understood that people that I used to consider strangers had become family to me in such a short period of time. I also acknowledged how fortunate I was to have seven unexplainable weeks at the place I feel most content summer after summer. Passion, love, and strength flows through the air, as the importance of the camp community is now apparent in the youngest and oldest people in the room.
Being a CIT at Canadensis was an unbelievable experience. This past summer, the three bunks of my…