This One Time at Summer Camp
by Lisa Burstein
I am writing about my summer camp experience this Throwback Thursday because the “CAMP” that Ben and Cassie attended is absolutely based on the sleep away camp I went to from 6th grade to my Freshman year of high school. My memories of that time are pretty great, so when writing The Possibility of Us, which is about the aftermath of a relationship that started at a rehab wilderness program, I used the skeleton of the camp I went to. I used it like a map. It was helpful to be able to picture my camp, Camp Eagle Cove in the Adirondacks of New York State as I wrote. I thought it might be fun to share some pictures and make a list of all the firsts of mine that happened at camp. These didn’t all happen the same year 😉
My first kiss (not great, but the first one)
My first time riding a horse (which became something I loved for the rest of my life)
My first time getting drunk (ditto as above- LOL)
My first time crying over a boy (and second and third and fourth)
My first time away from my parents for more than a week (this really helped me figure out who I was without them)
My first time getting to a base other than first (ironically this happened in a baseball dugout at night)
My first time water skiing (I fell on my ass)
My first time going after a younger man (he was the little brother of the guy who I had first cried over, I realized my mistake and retreated quickly)
My first time understanding what true friends are (I still know some of them)
There are so many more firsts and lasts and in-betweens that happened in my years at sleep away camp. And even though I was in a much different camp situation than Cassie and Ben had been in, I learned more about myself during those summer weeks, than I did during the rest of the year. Like them, being in the wilderness, stripped of my real life helped turn me into who I am. In The Possibility of Us, they are forced to face that reality.
I’d love to hear about some of your camp or summertime firsts!
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She is also the author of Pretty Amy, The Next Forever and Dear Cassie. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.
Check out The Possibility of Us…on sale now.