Becoming a Stronger Person, One Waterski Trip at a Time
by Camp Echo Lake Camper, Fara Lagstein

Two summers ago, I started going to Camp Echo Lake. On my first day of
camp, I never would have thought of all the different, new things I would have the
opportunity to try. During my second summer at Echo Lake, I had the chance to go
on a waterskiing trip. For my whole life, I have always wanted to go waterskiing. I
made sure I signed up for the next available trip.
The next Saturday came around, and it was time to go waterskiing. I got into
the van along with my counselor Molly, and some of my friends, Olivia, Nicole and
Lily. After a twenty minute bus ride full of singing, laughing and talking, we arrived
at Loon Lake. We were still in Warrensburg, just not on camp property. The lake at
camp was too small to waterski on.

“We call the yellow boat!” Olivia called out. The yellow boat had music on it.
Molly, Olivia, Nicole, Lily and I put down our bags and took out our towels. We
slipped the blue and black life jackets over our heads. We raced to the dock and
jumped onto the boat.
Water splashed all over us as the boat began to move. The speed of the boat
increased until we were practically flying. We were in the middle of the lake now.
The boat stopped. Lily strapped the waterskis onto her feet. The guy driving the
boat, Mike, picked her up and dropped her into the water. She grabbed onto the
triangle and got ready for the boat to start. Mike pressed a button, and the boat went
back to full speed, circling around the lake. She made it look so easy! I could do that,
“Fara, its your turn.” Mike said. I put on the water skis and hobbled to the
edge of the boat. Mike picked me up and dropped me down into the ice-cold water.
The water was definitely colder than I expected.
“Give me the thumbs up when you’re ready!” Mike called from the boat I
was more nervous than I thought I would be. I tightened my grip on the triangle and
gave him the signal. The boat started moving, and so did I. I stood up, but only for a
second. The next thing I knew I was back in the water and the boat was circling back
around to get me.
“Don’t lean back!” Nicole shouted from the boat, “That’s what makes you fall.”
I got ready again, and the boat started. I stood up- and then I was in the water for
the second time. I got ready again.
“Lean back!” Olivia said joking around. Everyone laughed, and I smiled. I
knew waterskiing wouldn’t be easy the first time. The boat started and I was back
up again, at least for a second.
“One last try,” Mike told me. I got ready to try one more time. The boat roared
to life. I leaned back, and then forward. This time, I didn’t fall! I did it!
“I’m doing it!” I exclaimed, “I’m waterskiing!” I stood up for about a minute,
feeling the wind go through my hair, the lake waves surrounding me, the wake of
the boat splashing my face. I have to say, it was one of the best minutes of my life.
“High fives all around!” I said as I got back onto the boat I high fived
everyone, then ran for my towel. For the rest of the day, I couldn’t stop smiling. I
was a little bit scared to try waterskiing, a new thing, but I couldn’t be happier that I
tried it. Now I can say I did it, I waterskied something not everyone has the
opportunity to try.
If I never went to camp, I don’t know what my life would be like. I can’t
picture my life without going to camp. I have made so many memories there. Camp
Echo Lake might not mean anything to you, but it means everything to me. It truly is
my summer home. All year round, I look forward to those seven weeks a year that I
get to spend with my 20 best friends. Without EchoLake, I don’t think I would be as
strong as a person I am today. I am so grateful that I am able to go to Camp Echo