My brainstorming and Quickwrite:
Ruthie in the kitchen giving me a ruthie roll and Don and Pam giving me kool-aid in their kitchen. I walk down the wooden steps that my dad helped build and approach the beach on the lake. The shack there is full of canoes and paddles and life jackets.
Everything I see: The playground is empty as I walk past. The merry-go-round that used to be there has been replaced with a memorial to the two kids who lost their lives there. There is a path to every important place here. I can see the tall trees moving in the breeze and the old dining hall with its screen doors and huge bell. I walk toward the craft lodge and see the chairs that were painted the year I was the crafts director. And then there is also the Super-biffy...the shower/toilet house that was built when I was young.
Everything I hear: The laughs and high-pitched shrieks that let me know that children are having fun. The wind rustling through the trees and the birds calling out. I hear the bell waking everyone up and setting the schedule for the day. People are calling greetings to one another as they come in and out of the shower house. I hear the stream of hissing water as people shower and get ready for the new day. At night I hear crickets and other bugs as I lay there. I hear the pop and crackle of the flames in the campfire and a guitar strumming elsewhere in camp.
Everything I smell: I smell the musty humid smell of the house and the cabins. I smell the fire and the air that is clean. The Super biffy smells like mildew and concrete mixed with the various shampoos and soaps that people are using. In the dining hall I smell the stench of old wood and floor wax. I smell the crisp air at night as I star-gaze in the peaceful night.
Everything I feel: The wind rustles my hair and presses against my skin. I feel the branches of the trees near my head. I feel the uneven ground under my feet. I feel the oar in my hand and the cool lake water.
The paragraphs I came up with from this prewriting:
As I slowly meander my way down the lane, I shiver with anticipation. This is my favorite place on Earth and I cannot believe I am lucky enough to be arriving here once again. This time I know it will be different. This time I get to stay for the entire summer and provide amazing experiences for campers. As I approach the dining hall I smell the pine forest and feel the crisp breeze rustling past. The cool air of the morning makes me shiver as I walk toward the doors. In the dining hall, there is the distinct smell of new carpeting and I wonder how long ago they replaced it. It feels weird being in this new space when I have always been in old buildings while at camp. I walk into the office and introduce myself to the secretary. The director comes out and greets me and then the two of them tell me where I will be staying this summer.
When I leave the dining hall I turn right and take a deep breath. I can’t believe how crisp and fresh the air is here. The gravel crunches under my feet as I slowly make my way past the old dining hall and the Super Biffy. The playground looks lonely as I walk past and I have to fight an urge to run over to the swings. In a few days this area will be chock full of campers and I won’t be able to take a turn. Seeing the jungle gym reminds me of the merry-go-round that used to be here and I silently pray that nothing like that tragic accident will happen while I am here. To the left is the small arts and crafts lodge that I will be taking over for the summer. I can’t wait to get in there and get started with the fun. I continue forward to the campsites and walk into the center of the cabins. Walking into a clearing I approach the picnic table and sit down. Six cabins surround me and a flood of memories rushes me. I walk over to the counselor cabin and the screen door screeches open. I let the door slam behind me and revel in the smell of forest and rain that greets me. It feels like I have never left this place and, even though I will have to sleep on the nasty old cots that are there, I know that I will sleep soundly knowing that I am home.