After a break from LVR staff descriptions, I have a little bit of time to work on them again.
Sarah Cooley came to hate the nickname Pineapple by the end of the summer, so for her sake I will break form and refer to her by her real name throughout this post. If she comes back to LVR next summer, she wants to be known as “Aloha,” but I doubt she can pull it off. As I mentioned in my post about Moptop, LVR nicknames are irrefutable.
Sarah came to LVR with no idea what to expect– like many of the first-timers. I think she came looking for a change. She arrived a few days later than most of the staff. As she stared out the window of the car, seeing LVR for the first time, she thought the camp looked deserted and miserable. Her mom didn’t believe she would make it through the summer. Iceman instantly freaked her out with his overly enthusiastic introduction. I sized her up in her pink outfit, perfect makeup and hair and wondered if she was summer camp counselor material.
As the summer unfolded, Sarah showed the doubters – including herself – that she belonged at LVR as much as the rest of us did. She handled a homesick little girl who cried sporadically all week long. The girl only saw Sarah’s affection and comfort, never a hint of the inevitable frustration. She bonded with the other staff members and the campers, and I can’t imagine what camp would have been like without her.
Sarah and I were friends for most of the summer, but we really started getting close the last week in June. On a Thursday, she, Stealth, and I each found ourselves without campers for various reasons, and ended up spending the afternoon together tamping fence posts. Turns out manual labor is a great chance to share your life story. Each of us opened up with bold honesty and felt comfortable revealing some of our deepest secrets, fears and problems. By the end of the summer, Sarah and I knew each other in a way that many close friends never will. Her honesty about her life has been an incredible source of solidarity and comfort for me, and I hope mine has been the same for her.
Sarah seemed more like a real person to me than some of the other counselors and a lot of people I know at school. She didn’t fake piety and she didn’t mask herself behind the image of what we were supposed to be. Maybe if more Christians were willing to admit the things we are struggling with, the onlooking world might see us as genuine humans rather than holier-than-thou hypocrites.
Sarah was always fun to hang out with and made us all laugh with her frank honesty. She’s truly a wonderful person in my book and I hope we’ll always be able to talk.