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ForGIVEness: It's Not a Given

Tzipi Caton

The first time I saw her, I was captivated. She embodied everything that had drawn me to camp. Her popularity, her ease with others, the very life she exuded — this was why I had flown hours away from home for a month of camp. To be with girls like her. This piece, which is part of Family First's special "Before the Gates Close" theme section, is based on a true story.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The idea of camp was appealing, but most options were too expensive. My parents couldn’t afford for me to go away.

So we made a compromise. If I raised a good portion of the money myself, I could spend half a summer in camp. It took two years, until the summer before tenth grade, to save up enough to go. This brought me to this first day of camp, my head full of dreams of expanding my small social circle, and living the way “other girls” lived.

Hers was the smile that had me dazzled right from the start. Her eyes told you she had plans; I wanted to be a part of them.


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