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Camping with my childhood friends

Arianna


by Arianna

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Living in LA

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When I was younger, my older brother was in Cub Scouts. There were three other boys in his troop that he became close friends with, and inevitably, the moms became close as well. Two of the boys had sisters my age, and we became inseparable. In 2007, our parents planned a camping trip to Refugio State Beach, just a few miles north of Santa Barbara. This trip soon became a tradition, and we have been camping there every summer for the past 14 years (not including 2020 for obvious reasons)!

Every year more and more people join the group. In fact, about 14-16 different families come with us now! This vacation has always been my favorite because I’m constantly surrounded by my friends and family. There are no electrical outlets there so we have to conserve our phone batteries. As a result, we get to spend real quality time together without being distracted by technology. When we camp, we usually spend all day at the beach. For dinner, we have a giant potluck and eat together at the picnic tables. At night, we typically have a campfire, play a giant game of hide and seek, watch the kids goof around, and just enjoy each other’s company.

Here are a few pictures from our most recent trip and the trips we made in the past!

Eight young adults smiling for a picture at the beach

2021: These are the people I went on the first camping trip with! I am in the red on the left and my brothers are wearing black jeans on the right. My best friend and fellow Trojan is the girl I’m smiling next to 😊

Eight children posing for a group picture in a tree

2007: Here is a picture from our first camping trip!

Three young women smiling for a picture at the beach

2019: These are the two girls I met in Cub Scouts. We have known each other since 2003!

Three young girls smiling for a close up picture together

2009: And here’s a picture of us at one of our childhood camping trips.

This year’s trip was especially meaningful for me. I felt a little sad after the school year ended because I realized this was my last summer break EVER before I start having fieldwork every summer and eventually a full time job. I also realized that I only had one full year at USC’s main campus. My sophomore year was cut short, my junior year was entirely online, and my senior year will be at the Health Sciences Campus (HSC). I began to feel like I lost too much time and that I missed out and will miss out on so many opportunities to make lasting memories with my friends from undergrad.

However, after going on this trip, I realized, friendship has no time limit. I only see my camping friends a few times a year, yet every time we meet, it feels like nothing has changed. I know the same will be true for the friends I’ve made at USC. Although I am excited to meet new people and make new friends at HSC this fall, I know I will stay close with my friends at main campus. One day, I hope to introduce both groups to each other, and maybe I can even bring them camping!

Thank you all for reading and I hope this blog inspires you to reach out to old friends!

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