Essay by DpozekA+, November 2009

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I woke with a start. Today was the day. I was going to camp. I had been waiting for days. Camp Smokey is a 4-H camp and it was for seven days. I had packed and repacked my suitcase eight times the night before. I was ready. My mom and I got into the car and the bats in my stomach started flying around. I couldn’t stop fidgeting! I was too excited! When my mom and I arrived at the camp, I saw how I was going to be living for the next seven days. There were four cabins; two long big ones and two shorter ones. They were beautiful. Inside the cabins were bunk beds for the campers. I said my goodbyes to my mom and went to sign in. Once you signed in you could go to one of the cabins and pick what bed you want. I went to the smaller cabin because it looked more inviting.

I sat my things down on my bed and went to the flags poles where everyone was playing duck, duck, goose. I quickly sat down and started playing. Even though there were a bunch of campers, boys and girls, playing I was picked quickly. I almost caught the girl but was still not close enough. I was now “it,” going around the circle of campers, tapping them, “Duck, duck, duck, duck, GOOSE!” I yelled. I started running and turned around to see how far away the boy was, but before I knew it I was on the ground, lying on my back, with a horrible pain on my head.

“Are you okay?” He asked. I looked up and that’s when I met my best friend Zak. What had happened to me was I ran into a tree while looking back. I didn’t like duck, duck, goose for the longest time. So the camp director called us all to the fire pit once everyone was signed in. We were separated into groups and luckily Zak was in my group. Mrs. Cara started explaining the camp rules but Zak and I weren’t listening, we were too busy stomping on ants. When she was done explaining the camp rules Mrs. Cara was assigning each group two camp councilors, they were just teenagers though. My group got Alex and Kate. For the rest of the day we were supposed to be getting to know everyone in the group, but our group decided to just talk to anyone in the group. So of course Zak and I were talking and I met his friend Matt. Alex, our camp councilor, and Zak are best friends even though Alex was a year older than Zak, so Alex hung out with Zak, Matt, and I most of the time. I found out I had a lot in common with them all. The next day I found out that we would be learning how to ballroom dance. Yeah, me and dancing? You’ve got to be kidding me. When we walked in the councilors split us up; boys on one side, girls on the other and then Kate and Alex did the waltz together to demonstrate. I was extremely nervous I was going to kill someone. The councilors had to teach each one of us; Kate teaching the boys, and Alex teaching the girls. So of course Alex decided to make me learn first. I was so mad at him, but at least I could step on his feet. At first I had to keep looking at my feet. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was, but not that easy either.

“Delaney, try dancing with your head up.” Alex had said. I glared at him but tried to keep my head up… yeah, I failed. Epically. I totally lost my footing and tripped and fell right into Alex, which was very embarrassing. But we ended up laughing about the whole thing and wondered what people who were just walking by would have thought. So then Alex had to teach other people but he passed me off to Zak. Which I was upset about. I was really bad at dancing and I was scared I was going to injure someone.

“You’re doing fine Delaney, just relax.” Zak said chuckling. I glared at him even more.

“It’s not funny Zak! I hate dancing!” I whined. He just laughed at me. I truly hated life at that moment.

“May I cut in?” It was Alex. I glared at him again.

“Yes you may,” Zak said bowing away. I couldn’t help but smile.

“How do you like dancing?” Alex asked.

“I suck butt.” I pouted.

“Well you’re doing a pretty great job right now, you’re not even looking at your feet!” I just noticed that I wasn’t looking at my feet when Alex pointed it out. I got real happy then.

“I CAN DANCE! HEY EVERYONE! I AM THE MASTER OF DANCE! OH WHAT NOW?!” I screamed. It was pretty funny. So after dancing ‘til our feet hurt we all went to the snack bar. I just got some bug juice while Zak, Alex, and Matt got everything they could! They were such pigs. I was actually kind of scared to eat the camp’s food.

“You should try these, Delaney!” Matt said excitedly. I looked at it.

“What is it?” I asked scrunching up my face.

“I’m not sure what it is, but it’s delicious!” He said shoving it at my face. I backed away fast and shook my head no.

“It looks like someone just took random crackers and condiments and put it all together.” I said becoming a little queasy.

“Well it’s good and you haven’t eaten anything since you’ve gotten here. So eat it!” Alex yelled and right when he yelled that Zak and Matt jumped and held my arms down while Alex picked up the cracker and was leaning in to shove it in my mouth.

“NO! No! No! It’s kryptonite! Stop trying to kill me! I’m weakening!” I yelled as loud as I could.

“Never fear Spiderman is here!” Then a guy came and jumped on Alex. They wrestled for a little bit until Kate made everyone stop horsing around. We all ended up laughing.

“So who are you, Spiderman?” I asked.

“Well Superwoman, my real name is Peter.” He said and winked.

“Seriously?!” I yelled.

“Yes, it’s really Peter, the sad thing is my last name is Pan.” He looked down sadly.

“Don’t be sad Peter, I’m still insanely jealous of your name.” I said smiling. We all laughed.

“So let me get this straight, Peter is Spiderman, Delaney is Superwoman, Matt is the Hulk, and Alex is Wolverine?” Zak asked laughing. We all nodded our heads excitedly. “Well then I’ll be Superman.” He said.

“NO! You can’t be Superman, I’m Superwoman. Pick something else. People will think we’re a couple!” I said pouting.

“Let them think what they want.” Zak said winking. I laughed and shrugged. Nothing bad will come of this… or will it? It was time for all the campers to come together and hang out and everything. I was walking back from my cabin because I had to get my name tag, when this girl and her two friends came up to me.

“Are you Superwoman?” The”leader” asked. I smirked and nodded my head. Zak and Matt had spotted me and were coming over to see what was going on. “Well you’re a brat and Zak doesn’t even like you. He thinks you’re just a stupid kid and wants you to leave him alone.” She snapped.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch your name?” I asked being myself.

“It’s Dana.” She smirked.

“Well Dana, I don’t care what you must have heard or what he told you, but I came to camp to have fun and something as stupid as you sure isn’t going to ruin it for me.” I snapped crossing my arms over my chest. Zak and Matt were almost to us when Dana shoved me and well I’m just one of the clumsiest people there is to meet and well I ended falling down the hill. Once I reached the bottom my left knee was scraped up and my left leg had some cuts up it. Nothing bad, just a little blood. I got up and dusted off my clothes and saw Matt and Zak running down the hill to me.

“Are you okay? Why’d she do that? What’d you say to her?” A series of questions were being thrown at me but I ignored them all and started walking up the hill back to where Dana and her friends were. They were all laughing. I was pretty dang mad. Matt and Zak grabbed my arms and made me stop.

“What?” I snapped.

“Tell us what happened. Besides you need to go to the nurse, not go get more hurt.” Zak said looking at my bleeding leg.

“It’s not that bad. Besides they deserve what they’re about to get.” I said stomping over to them. “I can’t believe you pushed me don’t a hill!” I yelled at Dana.

“I can, do you want me to do it again?” She asked smirking and taking a step forward. Almost immediately Zak and Matt stepped in front of me.

“Back off, Dana.” Matt said glaring. I’m glad I have such strong friends. Dana and her friends kind of just rolled their eyes and walked away.

“Let’s go clean you up.” Zak muttered. We all then went to the nurse’s office and sat down.

“What seems to be the problem kiddos?” The nurse asked.

“Oh I fell and scraped my leg. Just need a couple of Band-Aids.” I said politely. Matt and Zak both looked at me. Once I got all cleaned up we all walked out.

“Why didn’t you tell the nurse what really happened?” Matt asked as soon as we were out of ear shot. I shrugged and looked down at the ground. Then Alex came running towards us.

“Where have you guys been?” He asked panicked.

“Down a hill.” Zak snapped. Alex looked at me, then at Zak, and then at Matt.

“What happened?” He asked.

“It doesn’t matter.” Matt said quickly covering for me. I silently thanked him.

“Well it does too matter because you guys were somewhere without a councilor and Delaney now has Band-Aids on her leg. What happened?” Alex asked. Well so much for Matt trying to get off subject.

“We really don’t want to talk about it.” Zak said sighing.

“Well you better want to talk about it soon because you aren’t getting pass me until someone tells me.” Alex said sternly. We all looked at each other and tried to walk around him. Alex grabbed Zak’s arm and then Zak grabbed my arm, and then I grabbed Matt’s arm. If one gets caught we’re all in this together. We all were back in front of Alex. “So what happened?” He asked again.

“I fell down a hill that’s all that happened.” I said, I glanced at Zak and he was glaring at me.

“Why is Zak so upset that you fell down a hill?” Alex asked.

“Because I wanted to roll down the hill and he told me not to but I did it anyways.” I said thinking up something on the spot.

“No, that’s not what happened. Dana and her stupid little group of friends were talking to Delaney and then I guess she said something to make Dana mad and got pushed down the hill. Delaney’s leg got scraped up, and Dana threatened to push her down the hill again and would have if Matt and I weren’t there.” Zak confessed.

“Did you tell the nurse what happened?” Alex asked eyeing us.

“No,” Matt said.

“Well I’m going to have to tell Mrs. Cara about this.” Alex said.

“NO!” I yelled. “I don’t want to be known as a tattle tale especially if I didn’t even tell the truth about it. It doesn’t matter that she pushed me down a hill. It’s fine. We don’t need to tell anyone else.” I snapped.

“Okay, I won’t tell this time, but if anything else happens with Dana and her gang I’m going to have to tell Mrs. Cara. Now let’s go have some fun.” Alex said smiling. I breathed a sigh of relief. We all walked to the fire pit and almost immediately we were attacked with Alex’s councilor friends.

“Where have you been? Are these campers in trouble? Are they hanging out with you?” All kinds of questions were being asked.

“Alex, you didn’t tell us you were a celebrity.” I said smirking. He laughed and wrapped his arm around my shoulder.

“Well I’m surprised you didn’t know, I’m gonna be bigger than Brittney Spears!” Alex shouted. I laughed.

“Right, you keep thinking that.” I said jokingly.

“So these are the kids that you like hanging out with?” One guy asked.

“Oh yeah! This is Delaney, she’s pretty tomboy and awesome. Then here’s Zak, he’s my best friend back home. And then of course little Matty! He’s real cool too.” Alex said introducing each one of us.

“Attention campers and councilors!” Everyone quieted down. “Thank you, I would like to inform everyone that we will be going swimming! So go get your suits on and we’ll walk down to the pool.” Mrs. Cara announced. Everyone quickly started heading to their cabins all excited. I shuffled my feet and once I reached the cabin I dreaded it only because I knew Dana was in this cabin. I rolled my eyes at myself and walked into the cabin. I quickly grabbed my bathing suit and walked into the bathroom to change without any trouble. But when I was done changing I walked out and she was right there.

“Oh hello camping buddy! Did you tell you stupid little councilor on me?” Dana said smirking.

“Oh he knows but I didn’t tell him. And you’re lucky this time, because I asked him not to tell Mrs. Cara.” I said glaring.

“Get out of my way.” She snapped and pushed me slightly. What is her deal with pushing? I walked back to my bed and set my clothes in my cubby and pulled on some camo shorts and grabbed my towel. I was in search of my flip flops when it was almost time to go.

“Where are you flip flops?” I muttered to myself.

“Oh I have an extra pair that you can wear!” Kate said quickly running and getting them. They fit perfectly.

“Thanks Kate!” I said smiling.

“No problem now we got to get going.” She said and we walked out of the cabin and met up with all the other campers. Zak, Matt, and Alex quickly found me.

“What took you so long?” Zak asked as we all started walking to the pool; which was a mile down the road.

“I couldn’t find some flip flops and now I have Kate’s shoes.” I said smiling sheepishly. He laughed at me. “Shut up, I probably forgot them.” I said glaring at my feet. Why did they need to be so needy?“So did you run into Dana?” Alex asked. Yes, I ran into her.

“Nope,” I lied.

“Really?” He asked. I ran into her!“Yes, really.” I lied again.

“Okay, I trust you Delaney.” Alex said. At that moment I felt so guilty, but I had to shrug it off.

“Man, why does the pool have to be so far away?” Matt complained. I laughed.

“I don’t know but I’m tired of walking. I wish I had a wheel chair so I could roll in that and then have someone push me when my arms got tired.” I sighed.

“Well there’s something called a piggyback ride.” Zak suggested.

“True, but no one here is strong enough to carry me.” I said laughing.

“Bull crap! I can carry you, Matt could carry you, and even Alex could carry you!” Zak said moving his arms everywhere. I laughed.

“You know Zak, lying isn’t good for the soul.” I jokingly.

“Fine, I’ll prove it to you.” Zak stopping and squatting down. “Get on my back.” He said seriously.

“What? Zak, I was kidding you don’t have to prove anything.” I said quickly.

“I’m already down for you, just get on.” Zak said. I rolled my eyes and started to walk but Alex and Matt grabbed my arms.

“Just do it Delaney.” Alex said.

“I don’t want to squish him!” I said laughing.

“He’s like two feet taller than you and he’s got a strong build, just get on his back.” Matt said.

“Fine.” I said pouting. I got on Zak’s back and when he stood up I felt so much taller. I was still a little scared though.

“See? I can carry you all the way to the pool and back.” Zak said so sure of himself.

“Okay, yeah, whatever now let me down.” I said quickly.

“Okay,” He said and put me down. “Now you have to let Matt and Alex carry you.” Zak said smirking.

“Over my dead body!” I yelled then started running which is kind of hard in flip flops so I took them off and carried them with me. We all probably looked like idiots, running down but the pool was coming up and I rushed in and pulled my towel over me, hiding like a little kid. Next thing I knew I was being pulled up and there was Zak, Alex, and Matt. “Hi?” I asked.

“Whatever, we’re about to play a massive game of tag in the water.” Zak said. And all the guys took their shoes and shirts off and jumped in. I pulled off my shorts and set my towel down, then pulled my shoes off. I slowly walked over to the pool looking for the guys but before I could spot any of them I was pushed in. When I arose from the water I looked at the sidewalk and saw all three boys laughing. I glared at them.

“That wasn’t funny!” I yelled crossing my arms over my chest in a pouting way.

“Yeah it was!” Dana said laughing. I glared at her and so did the guys.

“Will you just go away?” I asked.

“Why? The fun is only beginning.” She smirked.

“Are you going to swim?” Zak asked smiling at her.

“No, I don’t want to ruin my hair.” Dana said running her fingers through it.

“Oh I see, well it looks great.” He complemented. I was hurt. I thought Zak was on our side. What the heck? I got out of the pool and stomped over to my towel and dried off. Matt and Alex were over by me in a flash.

“What are you going to do?” Matt asked.

“Nothing.” I snapped.

“Nothing?” He asked.

“Nothing. I’m not going to ruin any chance they have together. Besides, I probably am just a stupid kid.” I said looking away.

“You’re only one year younger than him, it’s no big deal. And you have to do something.” Alex said. I sat down thinking.

“I could put ice cream in her hair.” I thought.

“No, you can get in trouble for that.” Alex said.

“Hm, I’ll just push her into the pool.” I said getting up. I saw Zak and Dana laughing and talking just walking around the pool. I waited when they were near the deep end then started for them. I stuck my hands out and shoved them both into the water. I started laughing. When Dana got up and out of the pool she was so mad. I couldn’t help but laugh, it felt so good to push her into the pool too.

“Why did you do that?!” Dana screeched at me. I shrugged.

“It was an accident.” I lied smiling. Zak got out of the pool and walked over and put his arm around me.

“Yep, it was a set up.” He said. I pushed him away and walked back over to Matt and Alex who were still laughing.

“How come where ever I go Dana wants to start something?” I asked.

“I don’t know, you’re just amazing and she’s jealous.” Zak said from behind me.

“You’re a jerk.” I snapped.

“It was to help you get back at her.” He said.

“That’s a lie.” I said. Zak kept using desperate attempts to apologize and get me to like him again but I just kept ignoring him. Before we knew it, it was time to leave the pool and go back to camp. I grabbed all my things slipped on my shoes and started walking back. I ignored the guys the whole way and when we got to camp, I just went straight to my cabin to change. After that we were supposed to get with our groups and practice dancing again. I sighed and waited for one of the guys to come ask me to dance. Alex came over first.

“Look we should have included you in the scheme, but we had no time to tell you.” Alex said. I didn’t reply. “Delaney, we’re all really sorry.” He tried again. I looked away. “Here” Alex said and passed me off to Zak.

“I’m not going to say sorry.” Zak said. I didn’t say anything. “Only because our plan worked, you looked mad and pushed Dana in the pull now her hair is gross and ugly. Everything worked out. I just don’t want you being mad.” I wouldn’t look at him. “Will you at least look at me?” Zak snapped and pulled my face towards him. I looked at him. “I don’t like her. Will you please forgive me?”“I just need to think.” I said and pulled away. I left him standing in the middle of the room by himself and walked out. Alex ran after me.

“Delaney! You can’t go somewhere by yourself! It’s against the camp rules!” Alex yelled after me. I stopped.

“I’m not mad at you guys. Just don’t tell Zak, I’m going to act all mad at you guys but really I’m not and then at the end of camp dance I’m going to tell Zak the truth.” I said trying not to smile in case someone was watching.

“That’s brilliant. Okay so just stay mad until tomorrow at 7 okay?” Alex asked. I nodded. We walked back to the room where everyone was dancing and I grabbed Matt’s arm and we started dancing.

“I’m not really mad at you guys. Don’t tell Zak though. I’m pulling a prank.” I said quickly.

“Oh okay” Matt said and we continued to dance. It was dinner time but I did still not trust their food… it looked gross. So I just sat out in the grass with my music player on.

The night of the dance was almost here. It was so hard to stay mad at the guys, but I was doing pretty good. The theme of the dance was to dress up as another character… I dressed up as myself. Well I totally forgot all about the dance when I was packing so I didn’t have any other clothes… so yeah, I went as myself. I was wearing jeans and a save Pluto shirt. I slipped on my converse high tops and walked out of the cabin. I was looking at everyone, they looked so different. Putting make up on, taking time to do their hair, it was insane. Once everyone was ready we all walked to the basketball court where the dance was held. I stood out because I was the only one dressed normal there. Zak found me and ran to me.

“I need to tell you something.” I said trying not to smile.

“Okay well I need to say something first.” He said quickly smiling his face off. I waited. “I got Dana banned from the dance!”“Oh that’s cool, I was never mad at you though! It was just a prank!” I said smiling at him.

“What?!” Zak yelled.

“Yeah, since you didn’t tell me about your idea I didn’t tell you about mine.” I said smirking.

“Just my luck to become best friends with a girl who fights back.” He said smiling.

“That’s right! And you love me for it!” I yelled just messing around. Alex and Matt came over.

“I see Delaney told you about her prank?” Alex said unsure.

“Yes sir” Zak said. I smiled and liked being all together. I looked at what the guys were wearing and saw that Zak was wearing dress pants and a nice shirt with a tie, probably James Bond. Matt was wearing camouflage so either an army man or invisible man. And Alex was wearing a power rangers outfit, except her took the mask off. I love my crazy friends. So we all just danced the night away. There were some slow songs but I danced with my guy friends taking turns. It was the last song and Zak and I were going to dance together.

“So the waltz?” I asked getting ready.

“No, this one we’re going to dance like normal teenagers. Just put your arms around my neck.” I interrupted him.

“I’m not stupid Zak.” I said jokingly and wrapped my arms around his neck and he put his hands above my waist, and we just swayed back and forth to the music. It was all and all a great week at camp. The next morning everyone was going to go back home. And Zak still had his two disposable cameras to use so Matt, Alex, Zak, and I had a lot of fun taking silly pictures. Zak kept taking pictures of my every move and it was really stupid because he wasted half the camera on just me. But it was all good. When my mom was here I ran into my cabin got my things and Zak was walking me to my car.

“So can I have your number?” He asked. I laughed out loud.

“You’re asking me for my number?” I said still laughing.

“Yeah… is that a problem?” Zak asked confused.

“No, it’s just I got to go…” I said quickly and shove my stuff into the car.

“WAIT! DELANEY! WAIT!” It was Alex and Matt; they were running down the hill trying not to fall. “Don’t we get goodbye hugs?” Alex asked frowning. I laughed then hugged him.

“I’m going to miss you.” Matt said. I almost started crying.

“I’m going to miss you too Matt.” I said then gave him a hug.

“Are you going to miss me?” Alex asked pouting.

“Of course I am!” I laughed and gave him another hug.

“Well now I want another hug!” Matt yelled. So after many hugs later Alex and Matt decided to give Zak and I a chance to say goodbye.

“I wish we didn’t have to leave.” He said looking down.

“I know, I love you all. I’m going to miss you a lot…” I said trailing off feeling the tears forming in my eyes. I am not going to cry. I quickly just hugged Zak and started to go to my car.

“Wait!” He said and pulled me back. I turned to Zak and he hugged me again. Then pushed me off to my own car. I laughed and got in. I will never forget my week at camp.