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​Owen P

hometown ​Chappaqua, NY
9 Year Camper • 2011-2019
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​Conquering Mt. Washington

A common misconception many people have is that you “go to camp”. However, what I believe is that when you go to camp you go home. After seven summers at Camp Walt Whitman I can confidently call camp my home. I’m not going to list all of the reasons why camp is such a magical place, instead I’m going to tell you about one of my best memories at camp.

I was preparing for my traverse (CWW lingo for backpacking trip), and I was terrified. I had never been much of a hiker but I thought this would be a good opportunity to expand my comfort zone. So I signed up for one of the harest three day hikes camp had to offer. Most of the kids from my bunk hadn’t signed up for it fearing that it would be too hard. With so few of my bunkmates signed up for the hike I was going to hike with other campers who I did not know as well.

Before I knew it I was in a van bound for Mt.Washington. Everyone was just as scared as I was so we decided to pass the time by talking. Not talking about much, anything to get our minds off of the hike. When we arrived at the base of the mountain the sun was beating down on us and the mountain did not seem as intimidating as I thought it would be. The fresh air seemed to relax everyone, and now we were a lot less nervous, even excited.

We all started to exchange stories as we hiked. We talked all night in our tents, and before I knew it these boys from the other cabins were becoming close to me. Finally it was day three of our journey and with the summit in sight we were all so excited. We practically jogged the last portion of the hike!

Finally we made it. We screamed from the summit, “We made it! We Made it!” hoping the whole world could hear us. We all fell to the ground hugging each other. That was when I looked around and a realization dawned upon me; I started this hike surrounded by peers and ended it surrounded by brothers. Even though my boots were filled with mud and my ankles were sore I was the happiest I had been in a while. I had conquered the mountain. We had conquered the mountain.

A brotherhood was formed on the mountain, an unbreakable one. The kids that hiked the mountain with me are now some of my best friends.