All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Mind Over Body
I slid out of bed and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. I leaned over to the other bunk and woke up Miranda.
“Girl, when is the last time you brushed your teeth?” she asked me.
“Get your butt out of bed and let’s go shower.” I snapped back.
We agreed last night after chapel to wake up at five as an attempt to beat the “shower rush”. Three showers divided by 60 girls? Yeah, right.
We walked over to the small steamy room.
“I’m dying for a hot shower. I’m done being sick.” I growled.
My voice sounded so horrible. I couldn’t even talk. I was also exhausted from pranking the boys last night. Being stuck in the bunkhouse, (The place where the late-comers and leftovers got thrown into. Boys on the bottom floor, girls on the top.) it was so easy to prank. The girls in the same bunk row as Miranda and I were up late scheming and plotting with us. We decided to go downstairs into the boy’s bathroom and scatter popcorn everywhere. On the floor, in the sinks, and in front of the door, leaving the popcorn bag in THEIR trashcan.
I turned the water on in the first shower and changed into my bathing suit as fast as possible. I ran into the shower and dropped my products onto the floor. “Shampoo, conditioner, soap…” I whispered to myself, making sure I had everything I needed. The water was so warm and the room was so steamy. It was the nicest shower-room I had ever been in.
After we hopped out of the showers, we walked back to our bunk row. We changed and scooped up our makeup and hair bags. I kicked the door open like I always did, and walked out. The door to the right led to the bathroom, where we hid away to fix our faces. I washed my face, then blow-dried my wet hair.
“Can’t we just go back to bed?” Miranda pleaded.
“Fine,” I started “we can go to bed. Then wake up and have to fight other girls for five seconds of mirror-use to put on some bloody lip gloss.” I winked at her.
“True.” She responded.
When we were done, we sat on the stairs that led down to the boys room.
“Do you hear that?” I whispered. “It sounds like your brother!”
We looked down the stairs, expecting to find Andrew, Miranda’s older brother, and ran back into the bathroom, surprised to find five boys we had never seen before! I peered down again, before whipping my head back after hearing “Hey, blondie.” I looked at Miranda, mouth wide open. She told me I was an idiot for putting the popcorn in there.
All of a sudden I felt something hit my back. I spun around, to find a small blue Gummi Bear on the floor. Before I could snap back something smart to the boys, a whole army of Gummi Bears were thrown up at us. Without thinking, I grabbed a handful of goldfish crackers, and shouted
“Hey Gummi Bear Man, have fun cleaning these up!”
I threw them all, then ducked to avoided the spit balls or booger flicks or any other gross boy things.
“That does nothing, blondie!” They yelled back.
We ran back into the bunk room and found several other girls already getting ready.
“Good thing we missed the rush,” Miranda commented “bad thing I got Gummi Bears in my clothes.”
I sighed, “Well, deal with it” I muttered.
My favorite lady that we bunked with, Ms. Terri, walked out of the room, and immediately came back in. “When you said you were taking a shower I thought you meant in water, not Gummi Bears.” I laughed, “It’s not our fault!” Miranda butted in, “Yeah, like she said it’s not OUR fault. It’s HER’S.” We all laughed.
I was feeling exhausted a couple hours after chapel and games, so I made my way to the bunkhouse. Miranda caught up with me, out of breath. “What happened to you?” I wondered.
“Nothing, let’s just go to bed.”
“Mkay…” I didn't argue.
After climbing up the two flights of stairs that seemed like twenty, I pulled the thick dolphin blanket off of my bed and plopped it in her bed. I sat on the floor Indian style as I took my pill.
“You better take those to the nurse. If someone finds out you’re taking pills without getting them from the nurse, you could get sent home.”
“I really don’t care, we’ll do it tomorrow. Plus you have that Claritin that you’ve been taking. Last time I checked, you didn’t get those from the nurse.”
“Kay let’s go to bed.” She said sort of quietly.
I scooted into her bed and threw three blankets on top of us. I was ready to sweat that cold out.
About 30 minuets later, I woke up to the rush of girls coming into the room.
“Ugh. What a great nap.” I complained. Our bunk row was right in front of the door, and everyone who came in could see that we were trying to sleep, but they didn’t care. Pretty soon the noise died down, and we got back to sleeping.
“You guys are gonna miss electives, come on!”
“What are you talking about?” I asked Miss Terri, who had ripped the blankets off of Miranda and me, and was currently shaking us. “We’ve only been asleep for a few minutes. Electives aren’t for a couple of hours.”
Miranda looked at her phone. “Dude we’ve been asleep for three hours! Let’s go get ready.” She said seriously.
“Naw, hold on I just want a few more minutes.”
A few more minutes turned into a few more hours. I missed electives. I missed chapel. I woke up to a room of silence. Miranda was still asleep next to me. I looked out the window. The sun was setting. I rolled Miranda over and poked her shoulder until she woke up.
“Hmmm… where is everybody?” She grumbled.
“At chapel. Get your Claritin, we’re going to take our medicine to the nurse.”
We walked in our slippers and pajama pants to the nurse’s house. I knocked three times.
“Come in!” She called. I opened the door and padded into the house.
“Hi, we came to give you these pills.”
“When did you arrive at camp?” She asked without looking at me. Miranda nudged me in the side.
“Uhmm, Monday afternoon, Ma’am.”
“Oh, so I’m assuming you just got these meds. You picked them up during chapel?” She glared at me above her glasses that were on the tip of her nose. I shuffled my feet.
“Um, no I got them yesterday, I just didn’t turn them in.” I bit my lip. Of course Miranda just stood there, staring at the floor. To my surprise, the nurse winked at me and took the small red box of pills.
“It’s fine, better late than never, right?”
“Yep,” I said kind of quietly “better late than never.” I sniffled.
She looked up from her page she was writing on. “Do you have a name?”
“Oh, I’m Annalea Schutz, that’s A-N-N-A-L-E-A next word, S-C-H-U-T-Z. Oh and I’m in the bunkhouse.” She took all the info down on a small card that she put in a brown paper bag. She slid the pill box into the bag and put the bag in a cupboard with a lock on it. She stretched some pink tinted rubber gloves over her freshly washed hands.
“Open.” I stood there like an idiot, thinking about when Miranda asked me when the last time I brushed my teeth was.
“Um, you mean my mouth?” I was stalling.
“Yeah, doesn’t your throat hurt?”
“Well, um, yeah.” Miranda just laughed. I glared at her, then opened my mouth. She sprayed some gross blue-green stuff on the back of my throat.
“Just wait a minute. It will make your throat numb, and you’ll want more when it wears off.”
“Oh, okay well thanks.”
“Mhm, and be sure to visit me in four hours for your next pill.”
“But wait, four hours from now is 12:00 o’clock. Will you be up?”
“Yep, it’s my job.”
“Well okay, we’ll be off, then.” We started to walk out the door, when I remembered Miranda still had her Claritin.
“Wait! You have allergy meds, Miranda. Better take em’ in.”
“No way, I was embarrassed enough just watching you turn yours in late.”
“So? It’s your turn, buddy.” I winked. She groaned.
“Fine.” She mumbled.
“We walked back into the kitchen.
“Um, excuse me, but my friend still has some Claritin.”
“Ah, thought you could get away with it, huh?” She winked, and took the meds. She went through the same, embarrassing process with Miranda that she did with me. We left the nurse with numb throats and smiling faces. We walked the long way to the bunkhouse, because the nurse said we need more exercise.
“I’m just done being sick. And I’m not skipping chapel anymore. But yeah like, I’m done being sick. I’m DONE.” What I said may not have made any sense, but it pretty much changed my whole camp experience.
We went to chapel the next night, and this was that night that everyone cries. All Christian camps have this night. The night where we all sob and hug random people. I was hugging my newish friend Angela, when this crazy thought hit me. What if I decided not to be sick anymore? It’s my body. I don’t have to be sick, I’m going to be better.
When we got back to the bunkhouse, Ms. Terri was sitting on the floor waiting for us all.
“Hi you guys.” She looked at all of our mascara-streaked faces. “Are you okay?”
We all knew what she meant. I just laughed.
“That was fun. We had a great time. They did my favorite song.” I smiled.
“So I know I’m not your youth leader, but I want to know if God spoke to you tonight, and if he did what did you learn?”
They all shared their stories, until it got to my awkward moment.
“Well, I guess God showed me that I’m not sick anymore.” I started getting a little more confident. “Yeah. I’m not sick. I’m just NOT sick anymore.”
“Good. Keep telling yourself that. You’re only sick if you treat yourself like it.”
A few of the girls in our row started chanting “Annaleas not sick! Annaleas not sick!” The next thing I knew, our whole bunkhouse was chanting! I really wasn’t sick! I didn't have to be! And they all agreed.
A couple hours later, it was lights out time, so we left the bunkhouse and went into the extra room for meetings. I didn’t really know that other girls knew about this room, but apparently they do because when we walked in there they were playing loud reggae music, dancing and eating popsicles. Like what in the world? I quietly laid my blanket on the floor, hoping they wouldn’t notice me.
“Hey, y’all want some crackers? Or some soda? We even got Subway.”
“How in the world do you have Subway?”
“Our leader got it… but just come!”
“Well we don’t even know you guys! It’s fine we can just sit here.”
“Nuh-uh! You’re coming” The girl grabbed my hand and pulled me to the “dance floor”, which was a few blankets all over the floor. The music was so loud; I was surprised I couldn’t hear it in our room! We danced until I thought my legs were about to fall off. Slowly, girls started leaving. I was still so high on sugar, no way was I about to stop!
I looked over my shoulder to call over my friend, who, to my surprise, was standing there with a bloody nose! I ran over to her and she was just standing there with a paper towel on her nose.
“This is the third time today, Katie!”
“You CANNOT tell Ms. Terri. Swear?”
“No! We’re gonna calm down. Drink some water. No more dancing for you.”
And that ended our dancing experience. We sat on the blanket and talked for hours, until she looked at her phone and announced it was 4:00. Girls immediately stared leaving. Soon it was just me, Katie, and two other girls across the room.
“S-L-E-P-E!!! No, wait… yeah S-L-E-P-E!”
“Hahahaha wake up! What are you doing?”
I rolled over.
“What were you doing?” A strange face asked me. “Haha! You were snoring!”
“Was I asleep???” I did not want to go to sleep that night.
“Yep. Like a rock. And when we started talking to you, you started spelling things-and wrong, too!”
“I was not snoring. C’mon I don’t snore… do I?” I was mortified. Two girls I had never even seen before were currently bent over top of Katie and I, talking to us.
“Yeah we thought it was a bear! Hahaha!” They cracked up laughing. I was so confused.
“What are you idiots doing?” Katie rolled over slowly.
“I guess we were asleep.” I sat up and pulled my hair back into a hair tie.
“I’m Allie.” The girl with the teal nose ring extended her arm to me. We shook hands and I introduced myself.
“I’m Leah, I’m thirteen; this is my first year.”
“Really? Me, too.”
We chatted until the sun came up. I didn’t feel sick. Because I wasn’t. I didn’t even sneeze. Not once.
These are the memories I have of camp. Nothing else. You can tell me it went nowhere, had no plot, but to me it does. That was my summer. And I can honestly say, it changed me. Because now, I control my body with my mind.