Living Eleven Months for One!

Hi! I’m Amanda (the one in the middle up above and also here with my brother!), or as many of my camp friends call me, Pandi, and I’m from Jericho, NY. I have an 18 year old brother, Matt, who was a camper and is now a counselor also at West. My brother and I share our love for TLW and we count down the days until we both return! I also have an adorable little 6-pound dog, Sweetpea! During the year I am usual busy with my schoolwork, but I I also make time for many extracurriculars such as being the vice president of my grade, on the girl’s volleyball team, and I dance for about 5 hours a week. But what keeps me going is knowing that I will be back home at West come the summer time! One of my camp friends was spot on when she said, “We live 11 months for one.”

I first started camp when I was a sophomore and now my Teen 2 summer is soon approaching. I cannot believe that this will be my last year as a camper!  Back when I started, I didn’t think sleepaway camp would be for me. I was scared to go, with nobody I knew, other than my brother. But I decided to be brave and follow in his footsteps, despite my fears. Undoubtedly, it was the best decision of my life.

Camp has provided me with so many experiences that I otherwise would never have been able to experience. Whether it be simply living away from my family for a month, becoming a waterskiing pro alongside my friend Rachel, staying up in the Art Barn all night during Color War (one of the many advantages of being in upper camp!), and so much more; the good times are endless. A true testament to my love for camp is in the days following my return home, I can never sleep in my quiet room with my big, comfy bed because I miss my bottom bunk, with the sound of my friends sleep talking and the crickets chirping outside in the mountain air.

My favorite people in the world are my camp friends. There is nothing that can compare to the lifelong bond I share with them. The phrase “best friends” doesn’t even do them justice, they are more than that to me; they are my sisters. Throughout all the good and bad times in my life, my camp friends have been there for me through it all. There is no other group of people I’d rather spend every waking minute of my summer with than them! I have matured tremendously throughout my summers at camp alongside them and everything about Timber Lake West has shaped me to become the person who I am today.

Thinking about the moment this coming summer, when I am sitting, arms linked, on the social hall stage, singing the words of my last ever girls sing song, already brings me to tears. There are not enough words in the English dictionary or lyrics in any alma mater to fully express my love for Timber Lake West. I wish I could freeze time and go back to past summers and relive all the amazing times I’ve had at West. One of the last days of camp last summer, the teen girls and I participated in what was called friendship web. As cliché as it may sound, we all sat around in a circle with a huge roll of yarn. You throw the yarn to someone and say something special about your relationship with them and by the end a web is created, filled with all our amazing memories. Despite the fact that I was hysterical crying before the first toss was thrown, this hour was truthfully one of the best in my life. Right in front of my eyes was the love each and every one of us had for each other. When I look back on my life, my most treasured memories will be the years I spent at West and just the mention of camp will forever imprint a smile on my face.

I wish the summer lasted forever and I never had to leave West. Roscoe, NY is truly paradise to me. An escape from the outside world to a place where I am surrounded by nothing but happiness and those I love. I will always have a special place in my heart for my summers at my second home and all the outstanding people who I am lucky to have as a part of my life forever! Thank you, Timber Lake West, for everything you have given me.

Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Song: TLW Alma Mater
Favorite Quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Favorite TV Show: The Bachelor (guilty reality show addict!!)
Nickname: Pandi

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