Deserving Paradise-Poem by Kelly Tobin

The intoxication of the ocean greets me
Salty, fishy, seaweed linger in my nose
The old barnacle encrusted dock, standing steady against the crashing waves
The rocky beach tans in the glaring sunshine.

The slapping sound of water hitting the rock jetty is soothing
The cabins and tents make the camp look cozy
The playground is already housing children
Men gravitate towards the basketball court, already making teams.

The shouts and screams made the camp burst with life
People drag overfilled carts of luggage
Others go to talk to old friends
Their excited chatter fading with the discord of the moment.

The sun is laughing with joy as it warms us
Reflecting from the ever changing sea
The sea breeze is cool, surrounding me like a cocoon, on the hot day
The palm trees have their arms out in welcome to us.

The cross stands strong on the mountain
Waiting for children and adults to see its beauty
Waiting for night time trips and day time hikes
Watching over and protecting the camp.

The birds greet us in the morning
Singing to the rising sun
The deer freely examine the campers
The buffalo test our bravery
The only way to see if we deserve to be here.

But here
Everyone is accepted
No matter what, this is a place of love and a place of peace
Only one appropriate name for it
Campus By the Sea.

Kelly Tobin, age 12, is the daughter of Bernie and Lisa Tobin who are frequent guests at Family Camp.