Being a Teen at St Andrews Camp
by Antoinette Nickelson
When I think about Saint Andrews Camp and try to write about one memorable moment, I honestly can’t, because every moment I spent at this camp meant so much to me. What I can do is give you a brief overview of the seven summers I spent at Saint Andrews.
The first summer I came to this camp I was enrolled to stay for one week. I was very hesitant when I arrived. By the end of the week I was crying because I did not want to leave.
This camp has created such strong connections with a number of people, from all different cultures, and each individual person helped me grow and adapt into the person I am today. One thing that I am grateful for is the relationships I formed at camp.
In the summer of 2002, I was lucky enough to have a room to myself my last week, because my roommate left a week early. I was absolutely ecstatic because I would be able to have a ton of space all to myself. A day later my camp counselor, Vanessa, came to me and told me that I was getting a roommate for the last week. Yes, I did want the room to myself but I tried to get over it and think positively. So, I met my new roommate. To this day I remember the first words she ever said to me: "Hi! My name is Katya and I love Britney Spears" My first thought was, wow, I'm going to go crazy this week. She's weird. To this day, the weird Britney Spears lover happens to be my best friend.
Saint Andrew's Camp not only gave me a best friend who I know I will be friends with for life, but so much more. Although it is difficult to keep in touch with most of my camp friends, I am lucky enough to still speak to a majority of them. When calling a friend after not speaking for a while, it's as if nothing has changed between us. This is the magic of Saint Andrew's. Since the camp is smaller then most, a camper is able to make stronger connections.
Another part of Saint Andrews Camp that has helped me grow is the religious aspect. I came to camp knowing very little about religion. After the seven summers, I left with my own personal understanding of religion and with my own spiritual faith. I believe that this adds to my growth, and the relationships I built with people.
If anyone is considering sending their child to this camp, do it! Your child will love Saint Andrews. I was lucky enough to have a great experience, and I think your child should have their turn now.
by Matt Chupeck
I Spent 20 years at St Andrew's. I know every nook and cranny, every tree, almost every brick in every building. What sticks in my mind, however, is that St. Andrew's is the best place I've found to watch thunderstorms. Whether it's day or night, there's just no better place.
During the day, to check if a storm is coming (and you should check frequently in summer) watch the lake. Storm winds make waves that roll down the lake faster then the storm moves over the ground. If the lake is smooth as glass one minute and suddenly waves are rolling in 2 feet high, run and duck for cover. You're are in for a nasty storm.
Night is a different story. There's no warning but the flashes of lightning. Maybe it will pass right over the camp with pounding rains. Maybe not. Just sit back and enjoy it.
The boy's dorm is the best place at St. Andrew's to view storms. Stand in the front doorway or out on the front step. As the storm goes overhead, work your way under the eaves to the back end of the dorm, open the back door and watch it disappear. I'm always awe-struck.
If you go to St Andrew's Camp, enjoy the storms. You'll remember their beauty, strength and majesty all your life.
St Andrews Summers
by Natasha Federinko
I am 44 years old and at camp I was Natasha (Tasha) M. I have so many memories of camp to share. I came to camp many, many summers, and they were some of the happiest days of my childhood.
Actually, I stayed at camp before I was even old enough to be an "official" camper, starting when I was four, (1963). My mom came to help out as staff, and brought me along. I returned EVERY year after that, for at least some time, (whether it was a week, a few days, or the whole summer), until going into my sophomore year in college. (1977).
So, I guess you could say that St. Andrew's Camp gently shaped and molded me into an Orthodox Christian woman, because it challenged me to really live my faith. To go just beyond the Divine Liturgy, and live in a community, where I would have to practice not only what I professed to believe, but to live the way Jesus taught us to. We certainly weren't perfect..we campers had our fights, our quarrels..but they were the best summers of my life. I still think about them..and, believe it or not, I STILL work with kids EVERY day..I work with disabled kids, and teens at a Center in Michigan, where I live, and teach them to ride horses. We have camp every summer there too, but it is just day camp, and not as much fun!
Here's what I remember about St. Andrew's summers..I think you may be surprised at how many fun memories and events may sound familiar, whether you are a younger or "slightly" older camper. . .
..I remember, when I was really little and the girl's dorm was the cottage. We called the area with trees, down where the water laps against the shore, "Gilligan's Island." We decided to save Canteen ALL week, hide it under our beds, (we all slept in bunks on the cottage porch at the time), and then have a feast with our saved candy. We were "dining" before dinner and a counselor came and made us stop eating..He SAID he would save it for us..but, alas, I don't ever remember getting it back. He told us it would rot our teeth!! ( I am sure the counselors had a great snack eating all those saved candy bars!)
..I remember special nights..like Hawaiian Night, and how everyone wanted to be voted Prince, Princess, King, or Queen. I remember Sadie Hawkins night where the guys got chased by the girls. I also remember all the funny skit nights, which were every Friday night by the campfires..(which USED to be, a long, long time ago, in back of the boy's dorm)..I remember telling my friends at other camps that we were really lucky at St. Andrew's because we got to cook out on Monday's AND have campfires on Fridays. We always sang around the cookouts and campfires too.
..I remember my friend Sally teaching me to play Beatles on the guitar. I remember dancing to forty-five (!!) records in the rec hall. "I'll Be There" by the Jackson Five, and "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles are songs that will ALWAYS remind me of camp. We would play ping-pong, and Sorry, and Trouble, and the bravest of us would dance.
..I remember how proud I was when I could FINALLY swim to the raft. And, when I learned to row a boat. I remember a summer when it was so hot we swam for elective in the mornings, for free swim in the afternoons, and then, for a special treat, we got to swim a lot at night for evening activity. I was so much fun. I loved the water, and was always one of the last out of the lake. I remember hanging our suits on the line and those pinchy bugs getting in them!! When I was REALLY little, we were supposed to change in the bath house, and we always snuck into the girl's dorm to change anyway..We also were convinced that there was treasure at the bottom of Lake Oneida if we could only dive for it. All we found were slimy rocks though, and I dropped a squishy rubber frog that I had traded someone for. I never found it, because we dropped it playing catch. It is probably still down there somewhere.
..We made up a secret code to knock on the walls of our next door neighbors in the girl's dorm..after lights out..and would met in the bathrooms to talk. We got caught the second day or so..the pounding on the walls wasn't too quiet, and I think we had to go pick up dead fish from the lake shore.! Campers used to be divided to groups: by age, A, B, C, and CIT's. Once we got to go for pizza and a movie, and we felt so grown up. We got to sleep in the lounge upstairs all together, and then Daria woke us up with the intercom by singing to us.
..I remember how proud I was when I read the Epistle for the first time..how much I hated dead fish..and how I loved doing scavenger hunts..Once, we had about what seemed like a hundred hidden leis to look for. The one who found the rainbow colored necklace won a prize. It was under a dog house by the volleyball area.
...I remember Snipe hunts, and pretending the merry-go-round was a train, (when I was REALLY little)..and oil painting, and getting frogs..and borrowing clothes..In those days we had to wear a skirt or dress for chapel. I remember how sad I was when the summer ended. The last days of camp, we would swing on the swings, sing songs by Judy Collins, (Both Sides Now), and Puff the Magic Dragon, and Leaving on a Jet Plane, and count how many days after we got home till the NEXT summer. I was really sad, because I went all the way back to Illinois to go home..and I didn't get to see my friends till the next summer...
So to Cheryl, Mike, Gary, Jeanne, Lydia, Henry, Sally, Lila, Leo, John, Tracy, Trisha, George, and all my other friends whose names I have forgotten..I will NEVER forget YOU and the wonderful times we shared. I think of those camp days so often... God Bless St. Andrew's Camp..I would not be the same person I am now without those special wonderful summers!!
Before the Dorm
by Theresa McMahon
In my younger days of camping we did not have the girls dorm. We slept on the back porch of the cottage in bunk beds lined up in long row's. We couldn't use the cottage bathroom either, it was off limits to campers. Every night we would change into bed clothes and walk in a very strait line down to the boathouse bathrooms behind the rec hall.
In my teen years there was a group of 5 or 6 of us from church who went for the whole summer together. Every year, we just couldn't wait for summer to arrive. What fun!.
I met a girl from Brooklyn, Jeannie, who was my best friend for quite a few years. We behaved terribly at camp, but had great fun. There was a bath powder fight I remember that covered most of the lower floor in the girl's dorm with white powder. Well, that was fun until we had to clean it up. We were always getting caught doing things we weren't supposed to. I remember short-sheeting a priest's bed, putting vaseline on door knobs and the old salt in the sugar container trick.
The best was when Jeannie and I would beat Paul M. and Chris Y. at spades during free time. They would often wonder how we kept winning, but it was just luck and the craziness of being a teenager.
I met a lot of staff that were very supportive during those teen years. They often wrote me out of friendship, something I would not have experienced if not for camp.
Hi to Serge, Paul, Kenny and Natalie, and ahh Leo. Jeannie if your out there a big hello hello!