Towering Pines Blog

Magic Places by Andres

Canoe trip

Beauty and the Beast, Fairy Tales, Narnia, Peter Pan, the Island of Neverland, Cinderella, Harry Potter, etc. are magic places and magic stories that every single kid in the whole world dreams about millions of times. It is fun to imagine that you are one of the characters in these stories. Imagine that you could fly, imagine that you never had to grow up, or imagine that you could live with wonderful species.


Take a second to think back 20, 10, 8, or 5 years ago. When I was young, my dream was to be like Peter Pan and never grow up. Unfortunately, we grow up and forget about those magical places and stories that our parents read to us. This wasn’t exactly true in my case, though. I discovered and saw new places with amazing stories like Rome with the Roman Legion or France with the Eiffel Tower, New York with the Statue of Liberty, Mexico with the great Chichen-Itza, the beautiful oceans of the Caribbean, and the wonderful sunsets in Acapulco.


But, there is one place that for me is the BEST place in the whole world. It is a small place in Eagle River, WI, named TOWERING PINES, and it is where I go to summer camp. This is a MAGIC place. I have gone to camp there for 6-weeks for the past 4 summers, and I will NEVER get bored of this place. I’m going to tell you what I do there. It starts like this….

TP Bell

“Cabin eight wake up! It is time for breakfast,” my counselor screams at 8:00am and the fun starts. In the dining hall we are eating cinnamon rolls, cereal or pancakes. You know it is early in the morning because it is a little quieter than usual and everyone’s hair is a mess. Then we go to cabin clean-up and we turn the music on. “Brush your teeth, make your bunks, do your job,” my counselor reminds us. Everybody tries their best so we can win inspection and go to Cathy’s Ice Cream Store. We finish cabin clean-up and go to activities. Ski class starts where we slalom, wakeboard or trick-ski. The bell rings and I go to Archery or Riflery. Every time I don’t get a qualifier, the counselors encourage me to keep trying until I get it. Then I go to skin diving – one of the best activities in camp! The goal of this activity is to try to catch fish and turtles with nets.

skin diving

Time for lunch; everybody is laughing and hungry for the best food in the world. Quiet Hour is next and is for reading, playing board games, sleeping or relaxing. My friends and I, better known as the “Mexican Mafia”, do the opposite of resting. We have a really good relationship with the counselors, so we try to annoy them until they can’t stand it any longer.


Fourth period begins and I go to sailing or riding. I like these activities because I love to see the beautiful landscape that I don’t get to see in Mexico. Then I go to Free-Swim and do many different activities in the water: play on the trampoline, ride on the Big Banana, water-ski, play water volleyball, etc. and get canteen. The bell rings for the last time and everybody knows that a large group of us will be going to the soccer field. Soccer starts, and I don’t know why, but the counselors make you feel as if you are a professional soccer player and that you are playing in the final game of the World Cup.

soccer team

At dinner everybody talks about how amazing their day was and how much fun they had. Next we go to cabin activities. We always play different things like dodge ball, basketball, kickball or ultimate Frisbee against another cabin. Then everyone goes back to their cabin and plays Monopoly, Risk, spoons, chess, card games, etc. I always laugh during those games. Every night during camp, I think about the good and bad moments of my day and 100% of my thoughts are good. I remember myself happy and laughing.


The only thing that I don’t like about camp is that I have to say goodbye to all of my friends who are now my brothers. The last day is the worst! EVERYBODY is crying like a baby because nobody wants to go back home. The worst thing is that I’m not going to see my USA friends for one year except maybe on Skype or FaceBook, but it is not the same.


When I am in Mexico, I am always talking about camp. I say to my parents and friends “at my camp we do..,” “at my camp we play…,” “at my camp we eat…” If you don’t believe me, you can ask them because they get tired of me talking about camp. I talk about it so much because I love it, and I always have the time of my life.

My camp is a place where I am free to do the things that I love with the people that I like. At camp no one judges or is mean or fake. Everyone is accepted for who they are. My camp is a place where I learn many lessons from the counselors or Jeff or John (Camp Directors) who I really admire. They have thought me many things like never give up, don’t worry about the small things and most importantly, they have encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and have an open mind. My camp is my second HOME and my second FAMILY.


From all the places I have been, I take the best. From my school, my friends, from my home, my family, and from the places I visit, I take their culture and stories. I try to enjoy every place I go and absorb all the things that place can give to me. My parents always tell me to “enjoy every place you go because you never know when you are coming back.”

Lake Nokomis at Sunset

I know that every single person has their MAGIC place, maybe it is your school, maybe it is your house, your summer camp, etc. Or maybe it is your backyard where you dreamed to be a pilot, a football or baseball player, a policeman, astronaut or where you built the tree house with your Dad. These are places that when you grow up you will always remember, and you will always have amazing stories to tell your sons, nephews or grandsons. Your magic place is one of the most important things in your life.

So, again, take a second and think back 20, 10, 8 or 5 years ago. Remember all of those places; I invite you to believe that they are magic. Feel like a kid again and remember all the things you did, all the laughter you had in those beautiful, awesome, magic places.

Your Magic Place is where you can imagine and make magic happen.

I already have my MAGIC PLACE…it is called TOWERING PINES and it is where the good guys go!!!


written by Andres Martin del Campo (2016 counselor) for a school contest at the age of 14