- 18 Mar
The Most Beautiful Place I’ve Been
By: Peri Meltzer
The most beautiful place I’ve been is beautiful not only in the way it looks but in many other ways too. It is Camp Lokanda. Camp Lokanda is a very special place to me. It’s where best friends become brothers and sisters for life in only seven weeks’ time.
The energy at camp is beautiful. From the moment I first stepped off the bus on that first day in June of 2008, a huge crowd of counselors and staff members were there to welcome me with loud cheers holding colorful signs with each group’s name. The energy of people wanting to meet me and spend the summer with me was infectious. This was a group of people I had never met before, people from all over the United States and across the globe! As a seven-year-old, it made me feel so welcome. I knew at that moment, I would not be home sick. It was this energy that kept me coming back year after year. This amazing vibe is unexplainable and each year carries on during Olympics, Color War, and sporting events where everyone can be found cheering for their friends as if they are watching the most important event of their lifetime.
The love at camp is beautiful. The people I have met are not just friends. They have become my family so you love them with all your heart. The love doesn’t end with just the camper and camper or the camper and counselor relationships. It extends to the owners of my camp — Dana and Ronen. They are amazing. They can always be seen around camp with their warm smiles. They love everyone and work hard to make every summer better than the one before. From new lake inflatables to brand new bunks, it is always awesome to see what new additions have been added! They encourage the bonds and love we all have for one another.
The beauty goes on and on. The Camp Lokanda grounds are breathtakingly beautiful as you look across the campgrounds — the smell of the country air, the sight of lush green grass along with the sound of pure happiness and joy from all of the campers and staff singing and laughing. The wide smiles on everyone’s faces bring a smile to my face no matter where I am or how I feel. We are always enjoying our little bubble, where bonds are always being formed, in our world of sleep away camp, a place we call our second home. When I am sitting with my friends by the lake, I often see the sun setting causing the sky to change colors until it darkens and is filled with stars. We always talk about how lucky we are to be able to share this beautiful experience. Everyone loves and cares for each other at camp.
The excitement of waiting and watching three seasons go by, and counting the minutes until that late June day when we will all be reunited, are worth every second. We know our troubles in the real world will slip away. We instantly bring our minds into our fantasy world that only lasts seven weeks. However, those seven weeks capture so many memories. I know my friends, the 29 girls who I have grown up with, I will have forever as my 29 sisters. I cannot wait until my eighth summer away starts in less than 100 days up in Glen Spey, NY at Camp Lokanda. Camp Lokanda is my most beautiful place. That is where I feel most beautiful.
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