Posted: Feb 20, 2010
I'll never forget the first time I visited Camp An-Se-Ox in Oxford, CT. It was their Open House, in 1990. I was both nervous and apprehensive about going to camp. I was going into fourth grade, and I was only accustomed to my Girl Scout troop members. It was difficult for me to make new friends, and my mom wanted me to try something new. She wanted me to interact with other Girl Scouts from other towns. I wasn't prepared for how wonderful Pat, the Assistant Director, was at Open House. She had videos of campers doing various activities. I couldn't help but smile as I watched the videos. My mom and I walked around camp, and I used the latrine for the very first time. It was actually clean! My mom was impressed with the camp, as was I. We left with a happy feeling of anticipation for the summer. On the first day of camp, Elio, our Director, introduced himself to us campers. All the returning campers went crazy when he emerged from the horse shoe. I didn't know who he was, but as I got to know him, he was one of the most caring people I'd ever met. He was also an awesome Director. When it came time to clean the latrines, I was very apprehensive about it. However, I thought of how clean they were at the Open House, so I pitched in to help. We had a dribble bucket, and didn't have a sink at what was called "Troop Unit" but now is Robin's Rest. We had to use a big bottle, with a tee on the end of it, and soap in a stocking to wash our hands. Those were the good old days! The pool staff made our swimming experience fun. I can't remember their names, but they were awesome! At our overnight, they did a skit, where the Aquatics Director told the campers to "stop diving in the shallow end," "stop running on the deck", and "stop drowning." That was one memorable overnight. We made s'mores, and cooked out over the open fire. I was really beginning to like camp food. The next day, after our overnight, Elio made the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches for our friendship lunch, in the cook house. We all devoured them. My friend, Jamie, who I've known since I was three, was also at camp. She made my camp experience a fun one, when we were riding the bus together. Her younger sister, Lindsey, was also on the bus. Lindsey was five at the time, and was in Snoopy Hollow. Their mom, Cathy, was a leader for the Trail's End unit, the Cadettes. As the years passed, I kept returning to An-Se-Ox. I went from being a camper, to a junior staff member, to paid staff. At the end of each summer, I felt sad. I didn't want camp to end. Now that I'm almost 30, I still look back and remember my first time at An-Se-Ox. I now want to be the one to help the new campers feel welcome, and anticipate the fun they'll have at Camp An-Se-Ox.