...I went to 4-H camp, alone.
At that time NW PA summer 4-H camp was held at a Boy Scout camp near Cochranton. Custaloga Town, was this beautiful place with big pines and a stream you had to cross to enter into the camp. I loved it. But the sleeping arrangements left a lot to be desired....canvas tents that held two cots. It was ideal that you came to camp with a friend that you could tent with for the three or four days. But that year, I went alone. I was nervous, but looking forward to the fun that camp had to offer. As we got to the campsite I wondered who the counselors would 'tent' me with.
I'm so glad that I chose to go to camp alone that year. Why, because if I hadn't, I may never have had the great friendship I have had with the girl the counselors teamed me up with that year. I don't remember much from that year. I can't even tell you really, what year it was. All I know is that, in that one week, a bond was formed that has carried us through almost 25 years.
We camped together several years after that. Not always as roommates, but we were never far away from each other. As we grew into older teens we even had the pleasure of counseling together at that very same camp. That friendship has seen us go through 4-H; boyfriends; break-ups; college at Penn State, sorta...KUDOS to her for being the one that graduated (of course I was there to witness that occasion at the Bryce Jordan Center!); career paths that took me south and her to the mid-west and back again; boyfriends, again; break-ups, again; to her original, but OMG, hot (as in weather hot, it was the hottest, muggiest day EVER!) beautiful wedding to one of the last great guys out there, and has been one of the greatest friendships of my life.
Every once in awhile (not near as often as I wish) I head to her house and spend the day...and I do mean day, we couldn't possibly visit in anything less than that...I have dinner with her family and we discuss life as we know it. So many moments that her and I have spent together. We've helped each other through so much. I'm so blessed that she is also a christian and her insight is so amazing. We may go months without sharing anything but the quickest of emails, but the minute I need her wisdom, she's right there with it.
I write all this because Sunday was her birthday. We chatted for what seemed like hours that day. She's been on my mind a lot and so I thought I would write about how great of a friend and mom she is versus the many moms out there who aren't. She is this amazing woman who is raising her two sons (OK, her husband :) gets credit too! ) to be productive, responsible citizens. They are still little boys, but you just know that they have such greatness inside of them. They are not swayed by all the things in this society that takes away the innocence of little children. They are playing in the country-side around their home, growing and selling pumpkins, doing craft projects, raising money for their church and non-profit organizations and being just genuinely great kids. KUDOS to her for being the mom so many others should be. Unfortunately, she's not the norm. If this world had a few more moms like her, wow, what a different place we'd be living in.
Instead, we have moms...and dads, who let their children be raised by others, whether it's by well meaning relatives, teachers or heaven forbid, the neighbor kids. When did parents stop being responsible for their own children? When did they stop taking the responsibility. It's not someone else's job to help their kids with their homework. It's the parents'! It's not someone else's job to fix them their meals. It's the parents'! It's not someone else's job to teach them morals. It's the parents'! And if everyone that was a parent would take the responsibility for their own children, this world would be a whole new place. At least, in my opinion. I know that there are so many that do, but they are becoming fewer and fewer and I hope that I have not offended some of you, but I bet everyone of us could name a couple of people who could stand to learn this lesson.
Well, this post definitely turned into something completely different than what I first intended. But apparently those are my thoughts today.
I'm so blessed to have this friend. I hope you are blessed with one just like her!