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Singing in the Rain: Summer Camp Reflections

by Cory Hernandez
     Weather is certainly a fickle thing, I thought as I gazed up at the thick, heavy blanket of clouds that told of an impending storm. Only this morning the sun had shone brightly in the sky, promising a clear day.  Guess we won’t be swimming this afternoon, I mused silently to myself.  This was a familiar place to me; I had been here several times for family camp, once for confirmation camp and for two summer camps prior to this one.  This was Pilgrim Pines Camp and Conference Center, 39570 Glen Road, Yucaipa.  This was my home.  I loved everything about this place; the food, the cabins, the activities, and this year especially; the people.  The camp is subdivided into age groups, and this year I was in the Junior High group. I have never trusted or loved a group of people as much as my fellow junior high members.  We were a family.  There were no misfits, no outcasts, for everyone respected and tolerated each other.  That whole week we were together I felt a certain connectedness with both the kids and the counselors, which became truly evident that day.  I looked around at the happy faces that so contrasted with the gloomy, clouded sky above us, and felt myself smile too.
 I was at home.     Then the rain began.  Slowly at first, small droplets pattered on the concrete, and then faster and harder, pounding the Earth, turning the little dots into puddles.  Delighted yelps and laughter rang in my ears as we greeted the storm. Surrounded by my joy-filled friends, I suddenly felt alive.  Kicking away my shoes, I pulled my shirt off and threw it, allowing the rain to pelt my bare skin. Others followed suit, stripping down to their bathing suits.  Thunder rolled and cracked, closely followed by the tell-tale flash of lightning that zigzagged across the sky.  We danced around, leaping in circles, laughing and singing, soaked by the perpetual onslaught of rain.  It was at this moment, with the music of 30 voices blended together for a rousing chorus of “the Beaver song,” while we danced together in the rain and hail, and thunder and lightning, that I understood the necessity for companionship.  I was satisfied.  What more could I ask for than to share this wonderful moment of pure fun with those who made it so?  We would have continued on, dancing and singing our hearts out, but apparently the lightning got too close and we were ordered to relocate to the Dining Hall, where we breathlessly dried ourselves off.
I was at home.

     A low rumble of thunder sounded in the distance. We had just come outside, all 30 of us, and I took a deep breath, smelling the damp air. The thunder boomed again, this time louder and accompanied by a flicker of lightning.  Some people screamed but it was in good nature, and they were smiling.

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