On my 20th Summer.

For those who did not know, this summer I went back to Catalina Island to work at a boy scout camp for my 2nd time.  I have been home for 3 weeks now and it’s still hard to figure out reality again. Ohhhh where to begin… well I left my family and friends May 29th. I was so excited to leave but really nervous and sad. I hopped on the airplane not knowing what to expect for this summer. I met up with my sister Ali at Long Beach airport! It was so good to see her again. We then headed towards a city called West Covina. For the next couple days we hung out, shopped and got ready for the island. Friday was the day we headed back to the island. Ali, Alex and I went to lunch in Pasadena at this AMAZING sandwich place. We then headed to the Catalina Express. When we walked in we saw Bri! It was so good to see her! About and hour later we were on the express heading out across to the island.

Seeing the island for the first time in such a long time was such an amazing feeling and such a relief.  I knew coming back would be such a different experience. It was nice to know where I was, what I was doing and who I would see.

We got to the dock and met up with Cory who drove us into camp! Getting into camp felt like I never left. I was living where I lived last year but was lucky enough to be able to pick my room! As soon as we pulled up and got out, I heard boys yelling from inside the P.O. Then I looked and saw Six come out and give us a huge hug! Dinner was in about an hour so Bri and I unpacked a little and then headed to eat. It was good to see people from last year! There were also some others who I did not know. Some weird kid with a beard and a blonde one was with him too. They introduced themselves as Jeff and Sam. The little bunch of us we had were there to work the weekend for the Cub Scouts and then Sunday the rest of the 2012 staff would be at camp. That night it was nice to catch up with friends from last year. The next day I got stuck to scraping the paint off the dock with some others. It sucked but wasn’t too bad because I was able to talk with people I didn’t know yet.

This summer was so amazing in so many levels. It was sooo hard and frustrating at times too. I thought last summer I had done it all. I was wrong. I had so many new experiences and they were all so special and perfect in so many ways. I war canoed across the ocean for an hour and a half just to camp on a beach for a night. I was able to be the person the girls looked up to in the Trading Post and to share my love and passion as the Camp Photographer. I had the most amazing opportunity to meet and sell my photographs to the Yachters of the Cherry Cove Yacht Club. There were so many memories this summer. I did a lot of things I did last year but did them better. I had a lot of firsts this summer too.

I was lucky to find someone this summer and have that summer love in a place that means so much to me. That changed my life last summer. People don’t understand what its like on the island unless they have been and experienced it at Cherry Cove. It really is such a magical place and does something for everyone in their life. I have a very special place in my heart for Catalina Island. My parents were able to come out and visit my sister and I for a couple days. They were able to see the good change it does for people. They were able to now see why my sister and I had to go back, why we do what we do out there.

It poured rain for days, got my first kiss ever in the rain, I helped sail a sail boat! I worked with the most amazing girls in the trading post, I woke up at 5:30 to do workouts, I saw seals, war canoed, kayaked to town, danced my heart out, yacht clubs to eat of course, Avalon(2 times), Shark Harbor and so so so many more memories. It was sad to leave. I was lucky to be leaving with people that mean a lot to me.

After we got off of the island reality started. Busy streets, people packed in places and noises that I didn’t know what was what. Some of us drove to San Diego to Jeff’s uncles house. It was the most beautiful, vintage home I have ever been in. We stayed the night and the next morning headed out on our long drive home. It was so much fun to be stuck in a car with Jeff for 12 hours! I swear I learned more about him in that time then I did the whole summer!

Anyway here are some of my favorite memories from Summer 2012:

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