You cannot converse with me for very long without hearing something about summer camp. Whether it’s the eight years that I attended youth camp as a child or the three summers that I served as photographer at Pine Cove, camp seems to weasel its way into every discussion.
A favorite activity at most youth camps is the blob. If you aren’t familiar with blobbing, it essentially consists of a giant inflated pillow in a body of water and a high dive. One child sits at the end of the pillow, and the other child stands on the high dive. When the second child jumps down to the pillow, the first child is launched into the air.
I was an average-sized teenager. Thus, I wasn’t very good at blobbing other campers. However, I loved sitting at the end of the blob and letting the largest high school guys launch me into the air.
As you can imagine, this didn’t always end well. For the sake of this story, we need to backtrack to the Friday night before I went to camp in 2012. (Warning: this story is loooooooong, but I will try my best to keep it short)
As a multi-sport athlete, my summers were usually spent attending one camp after the next (Finish cheerleading camp on Friday; start volleyball camp on Monday. Finish volleyball camp on Saturday; drive to youth camp on Monday. Etc.). Thus, our story begins on the last night of volleyball camp. The guys soccer team had joined us for dinner and a harmless game of co-ed indoor soccer.
I was playing on the left side, sprinting from defense to offense, desiring nothing more than to show that I was a competent soccer player. The opponent’s goalie launched the ball into the air, right towards me; I knew that I had to use my head. As I moved forward, I saw a boy standing in front of me, and my only thought was, “This isn’t going to end well.”
I went head-to-head with the boy. Literally. The back of his cranium smashed into my nose. I stumbled towards the bleachers, trying to keep the blood off the floor.
My coach called, “Are you okay?” I just nodded, waved, and calmly walked to the bathroom.
The blood wouldn’t stop. A few minutes later, the head soccer and volleyball coaches joined me. The soccer coach snapped my nose back to a straight position, and we cleaned up the blood. I spent the night with my team, attended the last day of volleyball camp, drove myself home, and snoozed on the couch with ice on my face.
Fast forward to camp. I followed Mom’s instructions to not play soccer, but I chose to participate in every other aspect of camp. Including the blob. Multiple times.
The first blobbing attempt went well, and I sliced through the water feet-first. When I shot into the air a second time, I found myself flailing upside-down. I couldn’t straighten. My face smacked into the water.
When I surfaced, I had two black eyes. I have never looked so tough/beaten/dead in my life.
And, strangely, it’s my favorite camp story.
Let me know:
- What is your favorite memory from camp?
- If you didn’t go to camp, what is your best injury story?