All good adventures have a back story, here is mine:
Last summer was spent the usual way; babysitting, bits at the beach, just going along. It was by no means a bad summer, there were lots of fun and exciting moments but college summers are loooonnnggg and I craved time with my peers. Six years ago my family spent our first vacation on Long Beach Island, traversing the Garden State Parkway, down 72 and across the causeway before turning right onto the Boulevard the spans the entire island from the tip at Barnegat Lighthouse to the very end of Holgate. Each and every year we would explore the southern end, spending the first few years in Beach Haven, renting our last summer on Joshua Ave. in Holgate before our family finally decided to buy and settle down on West Ave in Holgate just two houses from Beach Haven. Each of the past weeks away, I spent my time at the beach dreaming of ways to live down there for the entire summer. In November, Harvey Cedars Bible Conference came to my attention. We were down at our house over Thanksgiving weekend cleaning up from some minor damages due to Hurricane Sandy (I was exploring the wrecked beaches and houses in our beloved beach town) and I became really excited about the idea of working at Harvey Cedars on their summer staff. Once back home, I did some research and found out that you could basically be an RA at the beach. At Messiah I talked with a girl who had worked there previous summers as well as talked with her brother who was a Nauglet who worked there as well! I sent out my application over the winter and in March I found out that I was accepted (though not for the Room Counselor aka RA role, but still!). Harvey Cedars, unlike the other towns on LBI that I have stayed in, is located on the northern end of the island requiring beachcombers to make a left onto the Boulevard when arriving on the island. This will be my first summer making this left (besides visiting Harvey Cedars over Memorial Day Weekend just over a week ago). As I am about to embark on my journey I am excited for the opportunity but nervous about a few challenges, including the small crate of storage space of have to fit my stuff in, more conservative rules and my own anxieties about starting new and being away from home for the summer.
I began my packing yesterday, making sure to select clothes that meet the modest dress code while also keeping in mind limited space. Anyone who knows me knows that despite many, many efforts I do not pack light. I have too many craft supplies for that. Let’s just say that my college roommate freshman year went without shorts for the beginning of the school year because she saw Facebook pictures of what I was packing and got nervous that we would not have room in our supplemental triple. Anyway, I managed to pack most things into this suitcase, with a couple of additional bags but I think I did well. (The other caveat here is that I packed a separate bin to store at my beach house to make switches later in the summer if need be so I really didn’t have to struggle hard!)
So this morning was filled with last minute packing and counting my “Beach Fund Jar” of coins that I collect all summer. I got a total of $54.15! Not Bad! My check in time today is between 1-3pm so I will be leaving shortly to make the 2 hour trek. I’ve prepped a summer cd and have the Jeep top down for the occasion. The main feeling I have as I put the pedal to the gas to begin this journey is uncertainty. Uncertainty about my job as a server in the dining hall. Uncertainty about the friends to be made. Uncertainty about the schedules and hours of work. Uncertainty about the amount of beach time to be had. Uncertainty about any anxiety and homesickness. Uncertainty as to whether I will nail surfing. Uncertainty about about the adventure. Uncertainty about turning left. But turning left means something new. It means adventure. With every dream comes uncertainty but that doesn’t stop the dreamer, so with that I begin!