10th Time’s the Charm

Published by gearedtolive on

Hi! My name is Grace Wetsel and summer 2020 will be my 10th summer at Lonehollow

 Ten years is a pretty long time, so I’ve spent a lot of the past month thinking about what it is that’s brought me back to the middle-of-nowhere Texas for an entire decade. And then I realized that I’m literally writing this post with a split-screen open on my laptop, and on the other half I’m booking plane tickets to go see my camp friends over winter break.

Beyond crew yells, mess fests, screaming songs in the dining hall, and the blob, my camp friends are the reason I am drawn back to Lonehollow every summer. I’ve known most of them since I was 12 or 13, and all of them have changed the person I am today. One of my camp friends is the person I call without fail at 1 AM when I’m overwhelmed, and I know he’ll pick up every time. Another one of my camp friends gives the best hugs I’ve ever experienced and seems to know me better than I know myself. My camp friends are the largest reason I am the person I am today, and I could not be more grateful that Lonehollow brought them into my life.  


But as much as my love for camp is about what I get out of it, it’s just as much about what I get to give back. For the past two summers, I’ve had cabins of more than 15 eleven-year-old girls; I didn’t think it was possible for an eleven-year-old to teach me more about myself than I knew there was to learn, but because of them, I’ve learned to be more patient, kind, carefree, and fun. Each time they run back into the cabin after qualifying in a class, grab my hand at Refuel to tell me about a crew point they’ve just earned, or climb all the way up the advanced rockwall, I know that my time spent at Lonehollow has been worth every moment. Lonehollow gives kids a place where they can exceed their expectations, and I know that there’s nothing I could do with my summer that’s more worthwhile than being a part of that process. 


I once had a teacher tell me, “You don’t love experiences because they’re perfect, you love them because they’re worth it.” And even though my experience at Lonehollow for the past 10 summers has been nearly perfect, I can say with absolute certainty that it’s been worth it.

I know that because of camp I am stronger, more resilient, more patient, and a better leader. Because of camp, I live each day with perseverance, reverence, valor, fidelity, and zeal. Because of camp, I am a role model and I’ve learned how to throw away my cool card.


I can’t imagine my summers without Lonehollow just like I can’t imagine a version of me today that isn’t better because of every second I’ve spent there. So, for all those reasons, I’ll be going back to Lonehollow this summer for year #10 – I hope to see you all there with me!

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