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Monday, September 15, 2014

First Time Away from Home

What do you remember about the first time your were away from home without a parent [or close relative]? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1584).

Not recalling the exact year, I will peg it at 1957 when I was 13 years old.  We were living at the time in Ellenton, FL.  That year for the first time I attended the Methodist Youth Camp in Leesburg, FL, some 120 miles away.  The camp was situated on a lake in the woods. The trip was a rite of independence for without my parents as immediate backup, I would face strangers alone and isolated--both unfamiliar peers as well as adults.  It was overwhelmingly a safe environment, of course, from a parental point of view; but from mine it was a risky adventure into independence.  What if I could not be successful in the various camp activities?  What if my peers did not like me?  What if adults did not like me?  Obviously, the experience had its anxieties.  The sport I enjoyed the most was tetherball; the craft, making "shofars" from bull horns.  I felt a sense of accomplishment upon returning home not needing to testify to a single spell of homesickness.

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