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Mr. Naylor: Camp Chief

Grace Dunn, Staff Writer

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I attended summer camp for years as a boy, and then later as a young adult. That has colored my view of the world and contributed to my memory increasingly. My senior year when I was 15, I was trying desperately to achieve the rank of ‘chief,’, as we called it. This had been achieved by only two campers up to that point in five years of the program.

It was a series of goals, mostly athletic oriented, that a boy had to achieve. I had achieved almost all of them, but the last couple were pretty daunting because I was not an athlete at all, even though I wanted to be one.

I remember I went down to the high jump pit to practice because I had to jump a 4’8 to satisfy the standard. I worked on it all through the summer. I was getting pretty close, 4’6, 4’6 and a half. One day I went and thought to myself, ‘I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna stay here all afternoon long until I do this!’

I was getting worse, and worse. My knees were hurting, and I was getting really frustrated. I said to myself, ‘Forget this I’m out of here!’ and then I thought, ‘No, I told myself I would do this. At the very least I should stay here until dinner time.’

So I got up, and did one more jump.

Suddenly, I did that one jump, and I flew. My knees didn’t hurt, and it was the best I had done in weeks. I had set the bar at like 4’6. I put the bar up to like 4’7, and cleared it. Then to 4’8, and cleared it.

It was just one of those great moments.

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Mr. Naylor: Camp Chief