S'mores... a camptime essential

Trip Start Jan 03, 2010
Trip End May 12, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, April 24, 2010

The smell of campfire that sticks to your clothes and hair. The warmth of the flames against your face. The tast of the gooey, burnt marshmellow that sticks to your fingers. These sensations evoke the memory of long summer nights, snuggled in sleeping bags under bright stars. 

Summer camp is a mostly forgotten experience of childhood, but these feelings can bring back a rush of nostalgia.

Cast A 2010 was lucky enough to go to Forest Home, a beautiful summer camp in California. Many o the people in our cast had never been to any sort of camp before. Some had been camping, but there is something very unique about the “camp” experience. When you’re around a big crackling fire with a group of your peers, holding a stick with a marshmallow over the coals, there is a certain sense of camaraderie. You feel close to your neighbor, even if you may not be the best of friends. The atmosphere is charged with that togetherness.

The most exciting part of the campfire experience are the ‘smores’. S’mores are the delicious classic treat of roasted marshmallow, chocolate (usually Hershey’s) and graham crackers. Most Americans regard it as a sweet remembrance of youth, and most of those from outside of the USA were filled with curiosity. The consensus: YUM! I am proud to say that the majority of the smores were eaten within the first 15 minutes. That, my friends, is what we call a successful fireside experience.

I remember listening to stories and music by the flickering firelight as a young girl. Especially when at summer camp with the older kids, we were told scary stories to keep us up at night. Thankfully we were sparred the tales of horror this time, but there was still entertainment of a good story. There is just something so suspenseful about the shadows dancing on the trees and the hush of the wilderness—it transports you to another world.

There are plenty of times in Up with People when I feel completely out of my element, and in these times I grow as a person. But it is also nice to have the times where I feel comfortable. When I was sitting on the cold stone surrounding the fire pit, right next to my friends, trying to figure out how to eat my s’more without getting it all over my hands, face, and clothes, I felt like I was back in Colorado. I felt like I was at home. And that is a good feeling as being miles and miles away from home—especially after spending one month in a completely different atmosphere in Manila. It was great to be transported to a safe place of my camping/cabin memories, and even better to be able to bring some of my friends—especially those who’d never experienced it before—with me. S’mores and the smell of campfire will always hold special significance and weight in my heart and mind, and after my experience with Cast A at Forest Home, I have another great set of memories to add to it.
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