I should have been excited. I should have been looking forward to the fresh air, the daily access to the beach, and the freedom from my parent home. I was a straight A student in my second year of college. My counselor suggested for me to become a camp counselor at an overnight camp program run by our church for the town’s kids. For 4 weeks, we left the restrictions of our small town and went camp out at an old beachfront hotel converted into retreat camp.
This was the first time I ever slept someplace separate from family, which gave me both thrills and fears plus freaked my parents out. I could never sleep over, no overnight trips with the school unless mom accompanied me. I wasn’t even allowed to go away for college. So at 20 when I told them I was a summer camp counselor at the beach retreat overnight camp, they forbade me, actually my mom forbidden me. Then I needed to remind them I was 20 years old, and no longer needed their permission. To say that caused a stir was an understatement. So two days later at dinner, I broach the elephant in the room. I needed to remind them at 20 they needed to trust they did a good job in raising me; I graduated from high school at the top of my class, no kids, somehow remained a virgin, prefer books over partying though I am still very much a woman. So yes, soon I will talk to men (at least to their knowledge). Go on dates and maybe one day get married and have a family on my own.
It was what neither my parents nor my college counselor told me that made it a summer to remember that shaped me for years to come.
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