Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
I saw the brochure tacked to the band room wall one day. I asked the instructor about it and he told me that the camp was a two week sleep away camp with classes in all sorts of fine arts areas: instrumental music, choral music, drama, creative writing. The camp was located about four hours northwest from where we lived, and you stayed in cabins or tents for the duration.
Sleepaway camp. I had read about it in my books about girls my age. I’d seen it depicted in movies. But a camp where you actually studied and learned things…things about something you loved. The idea intrigued me. I took a copy of the brochure home and started working on my arguments to beg my mother with.
The camp was expensive. We were still recovering from my mother’s year long unemployment, but I thought that we were mostly doing OK now. I had no idea what my brother’s hospitalization was costing us, though. And, my mother had had to buy a new car last winter after our car accident. But still, the more I thought about Blue Lake, the more I wanted to go. Two weeks away from everything, just focused on my writing. Or music. Or drama. It sounded like heaven.
My mother looked at the camp brochure and liked the idea of it, but agreed that the price tag was steep. How would we be able to swing that kind of a cost?
Finally, she talked to my father. It looked like after my brother was to be released from the hospital, my father would be taking him out East to stay for a portion of the summer with my father’s family. This would keep him away from any bad influence friends that might be making matters worse, and it would keep me and my brother apart during the crucial, empty, long days of summer. However, my brother had to come back in late July. If I went to camp in the first two weeks of August, then that would take care of most of the summer.
Between my mother, my father and a scholarship obtained from the school district, they were able to finally sign me up. My friend Andrea also signed up, but she had to sign up for an earlier session because her family always vacationed together during the month of August. I didn’t tell her, of course, about the reasons behind my scheduling conflict with her plans.
I signed up for two weeks of intensive creative writing training with an hour long session every day of theatre. I was thrilled, and couldn’t wait for the summer that hadn’t even started to be almost over.