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Letter #237: Nervous Excitement

May 25, 2011

Dear Kamp,

I’ll never forget my first time I drove through the gates of Kanakuk Kamps headed to K-West. May 21, 2006. As I made the trek from Lawton, OK to Lampe, MO, my nerves grew as I got closer. I knew not a soul once I arrived to you. I’m a talker, but walking into a place with zero connections is a little intimidating.

I finally made it to Branson. Now it was time to find you in Lampe. Little did I know you were 45 minutes outside of Branson through roads so curvy they should be illegal. You have to remember, I’m from Oklahoma where things are flat and roads mostly run parallel or perpendicular to one another. Farm land if you will. I thought I was lost, but I pressed on.

My excitement for you could’ve broken the windows in my car. My uneasiness concerning what I was about to get myself into could’ve made my car slip over the edge of a cliff. I was 19 years old. I’d never experienced you in my life, so I was clueless. I didn’t even know if I packed properly. I blindly drove to you knowing there was no place I’d rather be for the summer.

Finally, after six and a half hours, I arrived at the first picture above. It looked like I wasn’t as lost as I thought I was. I can’t explain the feelings racing through me in that moment, but yesterday 180ish 2011 staff members got to experience what I did in 2006.

Anticipation built, then I drove under this sign. Inadequacy set in, but even more excitement.

A mile or two more and this guy shows up! I was almost to you! My next stop was the office area where I was welcomed and pulled out of my car by Erin, personnel director at time. Five years later, a dear friend (we miss you!).

This summer, we have a new touch to our welcoming with a little western flavor. All the way from Lawton, OK. Yes, you read that right. Ward and Todd drove to my old stomping grounds this winter to land these puppies for us this summer. This covered wagon couldn’t be more welcoming.

As I reminisce a bit on my first time to enter K-West, I think about our 2011 staff. It’s weird not having old faces around, but it’s fun seeing a new generation come into you. I think about their excitement, nerves, anxiety, and clueless and overwhelmed nature. This is going to be a fun Staff Training.

May my excitement and a bit of nerves never cease when entering this place,

Six years later, still excited

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