Letters from Camp

Camp may be over and school has started, but the relationships created at Manito-wish continue.  While I don’t accept campers as friends on Facebook, snail mail is perfectly acceptable and awesome.  Who doesn’t love getting mail?!

The night of the famous Manito-Wish Cook-Off.

In my campus mailbox today, I found a Kool-Aid stained envelope bearing my name with the return address for Dan—one of the HLAs—and his twin sister Carin, who came for Girls Camp.  Carin also went sea kayaking in the Apostle Islands with one of my very good friends as her counselor and trip leader.  Their whole cabin was a great group of girls, with little (if any) drama and two girls who came all the way from Germany—yeah, we’re an international attraction at Manito-wish!

Due to their awesomeness (and my own), I became an honorary member of Hilltop Cabin.  I hung out with them and got to know them pretty well.  (I like to think of myself as an honorary counselor-big sister-friend-person).  They included me in their cabin for the cook-off we had one night when we made alfredo and crayfish with garlic cheesy bread—so good—and a few of them came to the barn a few times.  Carin didn’t, because she’s allergic to horses, and neither did one of the others for the same reason.  That didn’t stop us from being friends, though, and the big point is that Carin went home with my mailing address here at school and shared it with her brother.

Such good times!

Which brings me back to the letter:  opening my little silver mailbox to a small, Kool-Aid stained envelope (I know it’s from Kool-Aid because Carin wrote on the back “Sorry I spilled Kool-Aid” with a frowny face).  The letter starts with her talking about the change between baggy t-shirts and sweats at camp to make-up and looking cute at school and includes a couple of questions about what I’m up to.

Then comes Dan’s part:  “Ryan and I are so into horses that Ryan’s mom might lease a horse and we will take care of it and we will become pro riders…”  When I read this (and re-read it several times), I had to grin.  Who knew that four weeks at summer camp could get two 14-year-old boys so stoked that they would go home and talk their parents into leasing a horse and sharing it?!

Carin promises to send pictures if the boys really do get a horse and I’m super excited to see these and have my fingers crossed.  It probably helps that Ryan’s mom loves horses, so she might be easier to win over—that helped me when I first got into horses for sure.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I built my own cross-country course at camp.

Now I get to write them back and tell them about college and all the fun stuff we do here.  You can be assured that the equestrian program will be featured, since it will take up a big chunk of my time this semester – which is just how I want it to be.  As I finish up with this entry, I can only shake my head and smile at how horses help us create connections that start in northern Wisconsin and span multiple states and age gaps, from Colorado to Michigan and from high school freshmen to college seniors.  They make my world go round.


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