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Nolan and Mckane Camp Smiles Adventures Over the Years


July 7, 2019

By: Mckane 


Nolan McKaneNolan,

         3 years ago in July 2017 I packed my bag to tend Camp Smiles for the first time. A lot of emotions ran through my mind. I wondered, “would my buddy like me?” and “would I know what to do in certain situations?”. Nolan, from the moment I met you, I knew the two of us would have a great week together. This was the beginning of our life long friendship.


(First Year)- The first year, we got to know one another, discovering our likes and dislikes. Leaving camp for the first time, I felt inspired to be a better person because of you. Even though Camp was over we continued to stay in touch and constantly talk via text about Call of Duty Zombies and which maps were the best. Of course, we always choose nuketown. I will never forget the one time you responded to my text, “gtg”. I was so confused and asked what you meant by gtg. You responded “got to go you noob.” I laughed inside, we shared a joking sense of humor.

Second Year)- Before I knew it; it was July 2018 and we were getting ready for our second year together. On the first day, the two of us were chilling at the pool. I ask you,” Hey Nolan what do you want to do?” and you respond, “I don’t know, you are the one who volunteered for this.” At that very moment, when I laughed and smiled, I realized how much I had missed seeing you. Later that week, we went to the zip line and giant swing. You didn’t want to do the rock wall. But after some talking, you decided to attempt it. As you braved the wall, I realized you had trusted me.


One thing I will never forget is on the last day of camp before you left. You asked me, “ Can you come back next year because I don’t want anybody new for my last year?” Nolan, this changed my life, I felt like I had a purpose, that you relied on me, and I wouldn’t have missed your last year of Camp Smiles for anything.


Third and Final Year)- And now your last and final year. You broke out of your shell and took another step out of your comfort zone. This year it wasn’t just me and you interacting throughout camp, it was our cabin as a whole. Our cabin, cabin 9, became a close family. We had our ups and downs, but this entire week has been moving. Watching you interact and help your friends and cabin mates was heartening, Nolan. Coming in to this I thought I came to change your life, but in return, Nolan you changed mine. I enjoyed spending these last three summers with you. This isn’t a goodbye this is a see ya later.

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