summer camp

Sweet Determination

Sweet Determination

Before barely allowing me to get the words out in a sweet, cheerful voice, “Would you like to buy some Camp Fire mints?” the woman grumbled while slamming the door in my face. Hurrying back to the car, as a very young girl, I explained to my father that she must have just been having a bad day. I wasn’t a bit bothered by her need to take her crankiness out on me—the cutest little Bluebird. Instead looking up at my daddy with the pure innocence of a child I stated confidently, “I will try again tomorrow.”

The next day I did go back to her door and this time the outcome was much different. Yes, I was tickled. She bought a box of delicious chocolate mint patties from me. Either I won her over with my determination or even more it was my undying faith in mankind. My wonderful marketing skills had paid off. That year I was the youngest Bluebird in Campfire Girls to sell the most candy.

I was thrilled at my accomplishment — I had earned several free weeks at camp. Some of my fondest memories were while at camp. My parents were older and spent a great deal of time traveling for pleasure without me while I was growing up. Camp, a part of my parents’ great-getaway-plan, was delightfully my refuge. I loved singing around the campfire, performing skits after meals, and being comforted by the twinkling starry sky I called a nightlight as we slept outdoors.

After all the wonderful experiences I’d had as a camper, I still distinctly recall this one particular time had more significance than the rest. Calling my parents from the Camp Director’s private telephone, I hinted that I really missed them after just a few short weeks. Sniffling, “No, I am not homesick,” I answered with a little trepidation as if I were trying to convince myself otherwise. I don’t remember if I managed to stay all the weeks or had to leave early. However, I do know it was my camp counselors and the many older, more-seasoned Camp Fire Girls at Camp Maacama in Healdsburg, California that were wonderful encouragers in helping me survive such a long time away from home as the Bluebird with the great sales abilities. It was the most rewarding and adventurous summer of my young life. I believe I am a true inspiration to others that slamming the door in one’s face doesn’t necessarily mean a definite, “No.”

  1. Oh, I am so sad for those girls. To have lost you once because of their mother’s decision, and then to have lost you again because of their own short-sightedness. They really missed out. I’m sorry you did, too 🙁
  2. So sad, what a terrible experience. and I know it was only one of many for you. Love you friend!!!
  3. This fills me with sadness: “No child should have to continually try to make a parent love them.” What a tragedy that your mother was not able to accept love from you. My guess is that deep down, she didn’t feel lovable, and she had to cover that shameful fact up with a bunch of br…
  4. It’s insane that these findings were made but nothing was done about it. All these years later, you are still waiting for the wrongs to be righted.
  5. I love you❤