Digital Journal 101

Summer of Fate- A Memoir


For the past four years I have been spending my summers at Kanakuk Klassic in Shell Knob Missouri. Kanakuk is sports camp located on the shores of Tablerock Lake. The main goal of the camp is to grow closer to God while having the time of your life. While at camp, is inevitable that you will meet the most amazing people on earth. The counselors are college kids from around the United States and they are all extremely strong in their faith in Jesus Christ. The people who surround you seem to draw you in and make you feel amazing. By the second day of camp, you almost completely forget that you ever had another life.

            Campers (called kampers by Kanakuk), also come from everywhere in the United States. People come from Texas, Oklahoma, New York, Washington, Florida, Maryland, and every other state in between. During my week there, I always learn new things and I always leave happy and with a feeling of purpose.

            When I first started going to camp I did not know anyone. The only person I knew out of the five hundred people there was my sister and she was not even in a cabin near me, so basically, I was on my own. The first year I had the time of my life. I made friends that I still keep in contact with and I quickly signed up to go back the next year.

            That next year we drove down to camp like the year before and I was put in cabin eleven. I was once again really excited to be at camp, but also nervous since I did not recognize anyone from the year before. Along with my councilors, we headed up to my new home for the week to unpack my things. Immediately, I began checking out the other girls in my cabin and deciding who would make the best friend. Unfortunately, everyone else in the cabin seemed to know each other so they were not too inclined to accept me into their new group. I began to panic; I had to find a friend to grow close to. I could never survive a week without a friend to partner with.

            We were missing one more girl who would be in our cabin. One of my counselors found out that she would be late due to a transportation delay; we decided to start the icebreakers and wait for her by getting to know one another.

            About half way into our name game, the cabin door opened and three of the male counselors began carrying trunks, duffel bags, sleeping bags, and a ton of other luggage into the cabin. “Oh my goodness, this girl is going to be totally stuck up. With the amount of luggage she had it hardly looked as if she was going to stay a week at summer kamp.

            She had shoulder length, sandy blond hair, she was petite, and had amazing blue eyes. “Hey!” everyone said to her as she walked in and began to make up her bunk. “Hi, I’m Amy.” She said a bit shyly. Everyone immediately began to ask her where she was from. “I’m from Oman” she said as she went back to work unpacking her things. I had no idea where Oman was. I thought it was maybe just a place in Oklahoma or Oregon or something. I do not think anyone knew where Oman was because no one asked; we all just smiled and went back to our icebreaker game.

            The first night of camp is always a bit awkward. No one really knows each other and so as you can imagine, the conversations are a bit weird and dull. When it was time for dinner, the entire cabin filed out in a single line, served themselves, and then walked over to the picnic tables. I was last in line to get my food so I was going to be forced to sit on the end of the table. While walking over I noticed that the only open seat was next to that girl who was late: Amy. Taking a breath I sat down across from her. “Hey, what’s your name?” she asked me putting her hamburger back on her plate. “I’m Erin.” I said as I began to eat.

“Where are you from?” she asked.

“Springfield, Missouri.” I replied, “It’s like two hours away from here. Where did you say you were from?”

“I’m from Oman. Do you know where that is?”

“Umm, no.” I said feeling stupid.

“Oman is the country underneath Saudi Arabia. I know people who live in Springfield.”

“Woa, why do you live there?” I asked her, I was immediately drawn into her conversation.

“My dad is in the oil business and we move a lot. We’ve lived in Oman for about four years now. Do you know the ****? Like Chase and Conner?”

I immediately knew who she was talking about. Chase had been one of my best friends in grade school and he lived down the street from me. I completely forgot about my “stuck up” stereotype I had forced on her and we began to talk.

            By talking with Amy, I found out that she was born in Alaska, and lived across the street from the ***. Mr. ***was transferred to Texas and then to Springfield after Chase was born. Amy’s dad was transferred to Saudi Arabia and then to Oman. I found out that she went to an American school made up of about five hundred people and that Oman was one of the relaxed Muslim countries so she did not have to wear a headdress or anything.

            “This girl is too cool.” I thought. We continued to talk for the rest of dinner and then stayed talking with each other for the rest of the night. The next morning, during activates, Amy and I partnered together immediately. We seemed to almost be glued together. I learned that, like me, Amy had been riding horses since she was three years old and that she wanted nothing more than to have her own horse.

            One day, during a beach volleyball activity, I started humming a song from my favorite musical, Rent. When Amy heard what I was singing she immediately joined in and we were singing Rent at the top of our lungs for the rest of camp. I wrote home to my parents and told them about Amy. I told them that she was “my new best friend and I am going to have to visit her in Oman.”

            Amy and I became inseparable during the rest of the week. She told me that her family lived on Tablerock Lake during the summer because it was too hot in Oman. They actually shared a boat with the *** and they were always driving into Springfield to visit them. This made me think; how is it that my new best friend has been less than a mile from me for almost three months now?

            Together, Amy and I did almost everything you can possibly do at Kamp. We broke the record for going down the water slide the fastest, conquered the high ropes course which hangs above the camp fifty six feet in the air, introduced ourselves to every person at kamp, and we basically shared our life stories with one another. By the end of the week we were only known as “Amy and Erin”, our names were never spoken apart.

            As the end of the week grew closer, we knew that we would have to leave each other. We planned out days to spend together down to the minute: I would stay at the lake with her and go boat riding, and she would come see me and we would shop and see movies. When kamp finally ended, we had each become each other’s best friends. When our parents came to pick us up; we quickly introduced each other to the other’s families and explained to them that we would be spending the rest of the summer together.

            Leaving kamp this time was harder than leaving the first time. I had met my best friend in the entire world and I did not want to go back to Springfield without her. She knew more about me than anyone else and we had only known each other a week.

            Throughout the rest of the summer we went to each other’s houses and spent millions of hours together. We talked, baked, shopped, sang, swan, jet skied, and cried together. When it came time for Amy to go back to Oman I felt totally lost. She was going back to another country and the only way we could talk was via internet. Amy texted me the minute she sat in her seat at the airport in Springfield, and messaged me the minute she landed in Abu Dhabi, Oman.

            Before I had gone to kamp, I had lost my best friend and felt totally alone. I had spent my days at home watching television and eating junk food. After kamp, I came home, rode horses, spent time with Amy, and grew closer in my relationship with the Lord. Now that Amy was gone, I would have to find someone else to rely on.

            Amy and I went to kamp together the next summer, we were not in the same cabin and we were heartbroken, but we made up for it by spending even more time together after kamp. During the fall, winter, and spring, when Amy lives in Oman, we Facebook message each other and tell each other everything. Amy has been there when I was having boyfriend problems, parent issues, and friend downfalls. Even though we cannot physically talk to one another, she is still my best friend in the entire world.

            Amy is the one person who I can share everything with. She will never judge me, nor I her. My life changed forever by simply going to Kanakuk and meeting my best friend in the entire world.

            Everything happens for a reason, and I believe that God planned that I would meet Amy. If I had not lost my best friend before Kamp, I may not have been looking for a new best friend at kamp and I may not have been as open with Amy. “This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings” Psalm 49:13.


*Kanakuk refers to campers as kampers and camp as kamp

Published on January 5, 2009 at 3:04 am  Comments (4)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I thought this was very well written and it felt like I was there expericencing it with you. The emotions were very vivid and easy to relate to which made the story all the more intriguing. This is a wonderful story.

  2. Your memoir was really good in capturing the depth of your friendship. I enjoyed hearing about your summers together, and it’s good that you guys are still really close even though she lives in a completely different country. That’s incredible actually. I felt that the beginning could be a little more captivating, but other then that and a few spelling errors it was very good.

  3. This story was really great. i found it interesting and a good story to tell about friendship. this story didnt hold back either, it was good.

    one thing to work on is make more effort to go into detail about your times apart, i think that would help

  4. Alright, I used the asterisks to “bleep out” the last name of a local family. Paranoid- yes. But a lovely and well told story!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: