The Life Changing Camp | Teen Ink

The Life Changing Camp

October 27, 2014
By Marcelo2001, San Pedro Garza Gacía, Other
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Marcelo2001, San Pedro Garza Gacía, Other
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Favorite Quote:
"No matter in which conditions you are in, you can always help no matter what"

Author's note:

My story includes in full detail how I get to contribute with others while I am still working and helping out others and having a blast.


Summer. The dry and humid time of the year in which a kid can be a kid. Doing nothing as a normal and lazy summer boy in my all broken and almost about to fall apart house and laying around like a dead animal, my mother was searching through her mails curiously and got a unique email about a summer camp in which she interestingly read that we were invited to sign up for a camp to make shampoos and pantries for the people in need. As she was telling me about the summer camp, of course I said instantly “over my dead body!”
“Come on, it'll be fun!” she told me. However, I did not know that this summer camp was going to change my life completely.

We had our cousins over at the house and we were playing this game, Terraria that it is a copy of Minecraft but better and we were killing all this monsters and my cousins and us were shouting so strong that you could hear us from a mile away. While we were making a huge mess in the closed up living room, I remember hearing my mom tell theirs “Hey, don’t you think that its time for our lazy children to something productive?”
and my aunt responding “Yeah! Good idea comadre.” This bothered me because I mean, they punish us and talk to us the same way so they agreed that it was time for us to quit laying on our bellies and get to work. Our cousins were a year younger than us so we had so much childish and exciting fun together so we responded to our mothers as they told us about the summer camp, that if they are going, then so are we. We ended up engaged to going to this camp. The next day, I think it was 7:00 am in the morning, the most annoying alarm in the entire universe rang and we were up from our unmade beds and getting ready to go to the camp weakly (eating breakfast, brushing teeth, running a comb through our hair, etc). We were inside the most dreaded car, all the stuff was thrown in the floor, the outside of the white Honda Pilot was all dirty but we didn’t realize this because we were almost nothing away from being completely asleep, without any energy, our arms collapsed and we were all hunchback. We looked like zombies! We had to pick up our cousins from their house because my cousins came from Dallas and they didn’t have a chauffeur, so we told our chauffeur to take us to their house politely. I remember thinking anxiously “what if this camp is a complete mess” and “if they are not going to pay us, then why do we have to do all this work?.” We arrived to the little brown house (their grandma’s house) where they were staying because they came from Dallas and we honked with the car so they knew we were outside. They immediately got out from the house, greeted us and went inside our dreaded car. “Orale Jorge, now take us to the camp please,” we told our chauffeur. We were now on our way.

The summer camp was in an out of the ordinary type of place where there was this big building with only one set of stairs and like about 7 conference and activity rooms, there was also a dry and unwatered soccer field that was all yellow, for us to play soccer in our break and a big gym for all sorts of stuff like playing wheelchair soccer and basketball. The place was filled with strangers so we went directly to the stand were you told the grumpy, tired lady your name and last name and that you attended.
After the exhausting eight mile line, we got with the lady and she asked us “What do you want?” in a really disrespectful tone of voice.
We responded “We come to the camp, our names are Gabriel, Alex, Fer and Marcelo”
she wrote us down in her notebook told us to go. We went to get to know the people who were in charge and build a relationship with them (I still have a few of the on instagram and snapchat). We were there meeting everyone and getting to know them and it was time for our mini break in which they had some chips for us and some soda, it was life! After eating our tasty chips, it was time of us to get to work! We went to the stand which you had to fill the shampoo bottles with the shampoo (imagine donating empty product bottles) “Hey, you got a little shirt on your shampoo!” we joked and made fun of eachother when we finished working. The stand worked as the following: there was a guy (or girl) to put the shampoo in the container, there was another guy to clean the bottle, and another to put the cap in the bottle and last but not least another to close the bottle and review the bottles cleaning. I was the closer and cleaner, it was really fun because when someone dropped a bottle everyone was like “heeeeyyyy!” but in a nice way. The environment was the best environment you could ever work in, sometimes we couldn't even hear each other because all the energetic kids having fun, working and making a mess. While being there, our time flied! There were these girls (The don’t care if I don’t know you, I just want to talk to you type of girls) which had some kind of huge crush in my brother and I, they were from our school and we talked to them and flirted a little bit (I am just kidding, we flirted more than we breathed!). Those girls got to be our incredible cheerleaders while we were playing soccer, it was completely awesome! I remember them asking us “To which school do you go to?”
and we responding “We go to the American School, same as you do”
and then they said “You do?!” and disappeared in a mysterious way.

At last, it was time for us to leave the camp and we were all so tired, I remember being all sweaty because of all the running in the soccer and the talking with the girls (sometimes it can be tiring, but still, WORTH IT!). My chauffeur was right outside the parking lot waiting for us  patiently, he was sort of resting with the drivers seat in an 120 degree angle , while we were asking for money to the girls we had endless conversations with and of course they gave us some money because they thought that we were “mancandy”. We bought some chips and some soda from the vending machine because we were really thirsty and hungry. We got to the filthy car and my brother went in the front seat and the rest of us went in the back, we started to talk about the girls and the soccer until we got home. We also got to a conclusion, where we all said that we would finish what we started (go all the week) because of the awesome experience it was.

The next morning I remember getting up with more enthusiasm and energy to go to the camp than we had the day before, I mean, last time I was all weak and hunchback but this time, I got ready so fast that nobody could see me. I was like the flash. We did the same procedure as before (picking up our cousins) and we were on our way to the camp. When we got to the camp, we signed in again and went straight to look for the girls, asking everyone if they saw them and searching all around the campus but they weren’t there so we went to play soccer feeling a little bit down (didn’t really put effort to the soccer). The day’s work we did that day was tieing up the pantry bags with some lace they had, it was kind of exhausting and despairing because you know, we don’t do this very often and they don’t teach it at school so it was kind of hard for us, I remember getting my hands all swollen because of all the tieing and also seeing my two cousins hands swollen also. We had break after the hard work of tying the knots to the pantry bags (I think we really needed it). After our break, we had to do “mano-cadena” with all the kids at the camp, to take all the pantry bags to the truck but in a more efficient and smart way. All the pantries made by the day, went to a dirty, big, white pickup truck which distributed all the bags throughout needed civilizations in Monterrey (this happened every day). In this moments we were so happy and we realized that we just changed a poor communities life, and that maybe even had just given them hope or chances of survival to these people. It was the greatest feeling you could ever feel in the world and so easy to accomplish. That day we got some cookies and some orange juice (the cookies were fine but the orange juice was the baddest drink that I have ever tried in my entire life, it tasted like drinking rotten orange with its dread pulp). While eating the cookies we started talking with some cool guy’s whom we had played soccer with the day before and that day. They were kind of cool, I mean, this round little overweight guy named Oliver who played goalkeeper and was sort of good at it. He was the kind of guy that you can play tricks on or made fun of (which we didn’t) and he’d laugh, he was awesome. These other guy’s named Alejandro Johann and his friend Luis whom were like the best soccer players I have seen play in my entire life (I still have this guy’s in my snapchat but we have drifted apart from each other because I haven’t seen them in a while). I remember being in Alejandro’s team and scoring a quite awesome goal to the angle from way back in the field, I remember seeing little pieces of grass flying off, being disconnected from the ground, while I made the shot. During the soccer game, the girls who cheered for us weren’t there, so we missed them a lot! The end of camp hours arrived and we had to go home, which we did.

Throughout the whole week I saw people who were not that economically great at home and saw them working their butts off to make sure that some other kids life was up and running and I realized and reflected “How can people that don’t have much money help and work and make an effort in their everyday life and us who have the money, have the resources and have what it takes, do nothing and spend money in stuff that its not worth it!” I couldn’t believe it so I created some sort of quote that goes like this “No matter who you are and in which conditions you are in, you can always help.” and I am going to live by this quote to the end of my days.

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