A (BEAUTIFUL!) Pioneer Days Plea from “The Rachels”

A plea submitted by two counselors (former campers), Rachel and Rachel, to be on the same Pioneer Days team. Guess what? For the first time, they are 🙂 Another magical day at Timber Tops. The following is written to Head Staff from “The Rachels.”

You must remember the feeling. The anticipation and uncertainty, that nervous pit in your stomach that we all felt the first time we drove down the winding road on our very first day of camp. Would this strange place be as amazing as you had hoped or would you be left disappointed by the time you spent there? Some kids figure it out instantly and realize right away that this place is more than just an assortment of buildings and people, but somewhere where they can really feel like they belong. For others, it isn’t so easy. At least it wasn’t for me. My first few days spent at Camp Timber Tops in 2004 were filled with nerves and tears and very few friends. To be frank, I hated camp. That all changed during Junior Lip Sync, where thanks to Danie Bendesky, Rachel Yoder became my friend and my life was forever changed. I may not have realized it at the time, but in that moment, I found the best friend I could ever ask for and may ever have in my entire life.
I know that seems dramatic, but in all honesty it is the truth. Over the past 10 years, Rachel has been there for me every step of the way. She has been the only continual presence in my life, besides my family, in the last decade. My friends from home have changed, I’ve made new friends in college that I didn’t even realize existed until a few years ago, and the camp friends that I swore I would never lose touch with have become just another part of my memories. The only thing that has remained the same is my friendship with Rachel. As we enter the tenth year of our friendship, it is no surprise to me that we are still as close as ever before. Perhaps because of the strength of our bond, we were never put on the same team for Olympics or Pioneer Days, even as counselors. In past years, we have watched as other best friends were placed on the same team when one of the pair was captain, or in order to deliver a great Tall Tale, but unfortunately, we have never been lucky enough to share this experience (see attached for more details). All we ask is for a chance. A chance to be on the same Pioneer Day team together for the first time in our 10-year friendship.
In all honesty, putting us on the same team would not be an unfair advantage. We are not Sarah Walkers or Claire Brodskys. Placing us together would be fairer than putting families like the Millers, Munds, or Silvers together for Pioneer Days. Neither of us will win the biathlon or create a great dance, or even be able to deliver a winning quartet or cheer. Yes, we do carry with us experience from past years, but in the long run that won’t help win any sort of event. Being on the same team with Rachel won’t be unfair in anyway because we aren’t particularly good at anything. Song and Tall Tale are the only two events we are even remotely good at, and in the long run they mean less than all the athletic events, or swimming events combined.
As we both enter the second decade of our lives, we will soon embark on a new journey, in which don’t know where our lives will take us. Almost certainly we will head in different directions as we follow different paths and chase different dreams. In the waning few weeks of this summer, we both understand that this may be the last time we ever spend any significant amount of time at this place that we’ve learned to call our home. We don’t know when or how far our paths will diverge in the coming weeks, months, or even years, but we will always know where we have come from, and most importantly, where we belong. Although our time at camp is coming to an end, I know that I will always have the most important person by my side no matter where life leads us. This may very well be our last chance.
Will being on the same team change anything about the friendship Rachel and I have spent the last 10 years building? Not at all. Will it affect the way that we look back on our camp experience? Absolutely not. Will it make this summer more amazing than it already has been? In all honesty, probably not, but at the end of the day, it would be the cherry on top of a fantastic year. We know it’s a long shot, and we respect whatever decision you come to regarding putting us on the same team. All we ask is that you consider the options and make your decision with the above information in mind.

And so I leave you with this… why not?

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