Hey, Camp Fans!
Your camp stories were great for the ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp! It was such fun reading through them all. Now I’m eager to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog!
I’ve finished announcing our ten lucky winners who took larger prizes and now I’m sharing the rest of your submissions. The following post is from Susan M. who wrote in to tell us about her camp experience at Nakanawa. Here’s her submission:
“My name is Susan M. and I am not your average camper at a not-so-average camp. I am 13 and I go to Camp Nakanawa, which is located in Eastern Tennessee. I spend the best four weeks of my year each summer at Nakanawa. Nakanawa is a very important tradition in my family. My mom, aunt, great aunt, and great grandmother all went to Camp Nakanawa. Every year, all the girls in Junior Camp put on an Operetta for the parents on the last day. Some of the most recent productions include, The Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, and The Lion King. This summer’s Operetta was a revue of camp’s prior shows.
My age group was the oldest in Junior Camp so we could audition for a lead role. Prior to leaving for camp, I did not want to audition for a lead because I don't consider myself a singer and couldn’t carry a tune for a million dollars. The thought of singing on stage made my stomach turn. And turn and turn and turn. Enter Ms. Tiny. Ms. Tiny is the thoughtful, kind, “practically-perfect-in-every-way” Glee Club counselor. (Glee Club is an activity focused mostly on singing, acting and preparing for the Operetta.) Ms. Tiny was a camper herself for many years and has been a counselor many, many, many more summers. She is one of the most important and respected counselors in Junior Camp.
Jump to audition day: Since the 2019 Operetta was a revue there were lots of lead roles. When auditions started, I began to think. ‘Ms. Tiny is a great teacher and she said there were 30 main roles. That means I have a chance of becoming a lead!’ As I continued to process this exciting prospect I decided that one thing was certain… I was going to try out!! My audition certainly wasn’t the best, but Ms. Tiny saw something in me. The parts were announced the next day. One by one, the best lead roles were assigned. My hopes started to sink. I had gone out of my comfort zone by auditioning but I still wasn’t sure. ‘Cameron is Belle,’ Ms. Tiny read. ‘Brinkley is Aladdin, Morgan is Cinderella, Mary Meyers is Peter Pan…. and Susan will be Mary Poppins.’ ‘Wait, what!?’ I got a lead role! I was a very nervous but also extremely excited. Mary Poppins was a great lead and I couldn’t believe I would get to be her.
It took a lot more work than I thought to be Mary Poppins. Many days I had to use my free time to practice with Ms. Tiny. Her encouragement, enthusiasm, and excitement made spending my time rehearsing some of my most memorable days at camp. For weeks we worked on projection, our lines, the right costume, and so much more. Most importantly, I had to perfect my British accent!
On the day of the Operetta, I was a churning with emotion. I was nervous I would forget my lines, excited to sing in front of so many people, and ready to show everyone the Mary Poppins I had been perfecting for weeks. The show was a success and I was very proud of my performance. On the final night of camp, awards are given in each of the activities. I was very proud because all my hard work helped me get second place in Glee Club. It was the perfect way to end my best year at Camp Nakanawa yet. I am so grateful that Ms. Tiny gave me the opportunity to play Mary Poppins. I have so many wonderful memories from this summer. Being a camper at camp Nakanawa is nothing short of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
Thank you so much for this great entry, Mary—I mean, Susan! You sound like a fantastic actress and a super speller! The Nakanawa tradition runs deep in your family! How cool that you enjoy keeping the family tradition each summer! How exciting that you really moved outside of your comfort zone this summer! And, what’s more, is that you enjoyed it and made yourself proud! Glad you had such a great time! If anybody else is interested in Camp Nakanawa, you can give it a closer look by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!