Seniors 'Citizens' at Camp Orlando

Just like with our regular schools, a new generation of young journalists enter their final year at Camp Orlando.It's that point in our lives that we have been dreaming of since kindergarten. Graduation.

You know, where we all have that same movie cliché moment of throwing our caps in their air and cheering "We made it!" We get teary eyed over the thought of leaving our best friends, yet cringe at the thought of our parents embarrassing us over how much we have grown.

Yet, it is all worth to finally enter the real, adult world and escape our awkward teenage years. Can't relate? Maybe you peaked in high school. For many of us, we can easily relate to this moment and that moment is not too far away.

Several Camp Orlando attendees are entering their senior year of high school, marking their last year at Camp Orlando. Among this group of students, there are Camp Orlando veterans, like Palm Harbor University's Sarah Devine, who have been coming here for many summers.

"I am used to the camp atmosphere," Devine said. "So it's really cool and kind of nostalgic at times since I keep thinking this will be my last year at this hotel and running around camp."

From attending core classes to staying up late on Thursday to get projects done, camp attendees have seen and done it all. The stress that comes with these activities can be enough to rival the projects we do in our schools.

Fortunately, the fun and excitement outweighs the exhaust and pressure. Students have already made new memories to join with their old ones. For Sickles High School students Parisa Akbarpour, the lip sync battle is one of those moments.

"We had to prepare our lip sync battle, which was stressful and exciting at the same time," Akbarpour said. "It was definitely unique to this year."

Overall, these seniors begin to say their goodbyes as it sinks in that this is their final year. While it can be very bittersweet, many try to reflect on the important lessons that Camp Orlando taught. We have taken so much from this camp and it is all we can do to thank them for what they have given us.

"They taught me photography here and how to actually write in a journalistic style," said Katelynn Hutcherson of Sickles High School said. "I learned design here and now I am the design editor."

So, from the bottom of our overworked and stressed out hearts, we do appreciate and love Camp Orlando. Thank you for helping us become the best versions of ourselves, both in the classroom and outside it.


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