This I Believe

Gina - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on February 15, 2007

I Believe in Yearly Retreats to Camp Amigo

It’s Friday night and families from my parents’ Sunday school class have all gathered at Camp Amigo. I sit with two friends and our moms playing the game Compatibility amidst other games and conversations. As the word “old” is chosen, we all quickly search our cards for ones that relate to that word. With our five cards down in order, my partner (one of the mothers) and I turn our cards over to see if any match. We cheer as we both turn up a picture of a worn-out teddy bear. We continue with eagerness flipping cards and matching a couple more. The game continues as the other partners flip their cards over.

Along with playing, we talk about numerous topics and laugh together. This is just a small portion of the fun that we have together throughout that weekend. The same group has traveled up to Camp Amigo every winter since before I was born. The yearly gatherings at the lodge have become special to me because they give me a chance to reconnect with adults that I have grown to love and enjoy hanging out with as well as building friendships with my peers. I have gained not only friendships with those who are similar in age to me, but relationships with adults that will last forever.

Each year we create new memories. Rarely does the younger generation go off alone without any adults. This shows the closeness between the generations we have developed over the years. Together we play many different games including my favorite, Anagrams. Anagrams began as a game that the moms played, but now my generation has come to love the game just as much. We also go tubing down the hill onto the frozen lake, do family lip syncs, watch football on TV including the annual hanging of the antenna, go on scavenger hunts, line dance, and play noncompetitive volleyball. Everybody joins in the fun in one way or another. In the early years, the adults planned activities for everyone to participate in. More recently, my generation has taken the initiative to plan these activities. These interactive activities bring out a side of people that isn’t displayed at normal church gatherings. Living with each other for a weekend strengthens friendships by revealing each person’s true personality.

Because we have played together and become so close over the years, the different generations support and love each other even during the rough times in life. I have relationships with adults not because I am friends with their children but because I have grown to know them each personally. It has given me a group of adults that I can talk to about anything and call my friends, not just my parents’ friends. To me the group feels like one big family. This is why I believe in yearly retreats to Camp Amigo; this is why I believe in playing Anagrams until 2 o’clock in the morning.