When I was a kid we lived near a Bible Camp where I went to camp most summers. Aside from kissing boys and buying candy and falling in “kid love,” my most vivid memory is sleeping in a covered wagon at a camp called “Wagon Train.”

Instead of cabins, we slept in cramped rows of double-decker wooden bunks beneath canvas that was stretched over curved aluminum pipes to look like covered wagons. Essentially tents,with floors made out of wood.

What I remember most is how the reality of sleeping in a fake covered wagon didn’t live up to the idea of sleeping in a fake covered wagon. The bunks were hard. It was cold at night–colder than in a cabin. No mom to tuck you in or rub the cramps out of your legs, which I’d inevitably get from swimming in the lake.

I was always glad to be done with camp, but during the next school year I’d forget all the lame parts and would ask to go again. Because ANYTHING could happen at camp. Just the possibility made it worth going.

It’s been many decades since I went to camp, and though I never thought I’d go again, I just signed up to attend the virtual Camp NaNoWriMo.

The best thing is no wooden bunks or tents shaped like unusual things to lure you into sleeping in them.

The worst thing is the pressure! Instead of passing a swim test or surviving a week without my mom, I have to write a novel.  AND I got a late start and am going to have to hustle to make my word counts.

If you haven’t heard of Camp NaNoWriMo, you should check it out. Especially if you’ve been wanting to write a novel and need a little push!

Right now, I’m waiting to find out who my assigned cabin mates will be. I’ve already entered all my info and added my synopsis and novel title. I feel official, like when I was a kid on my first day after I registered and got assigned a cabin (or “wagon”). Meeting cabin mates is always so exciting!

I’m working on a YA novel and plan to pull ideas from my own experiences–maybe even the kissing and the falling in love parts of camp.

It’s gonna be fun, but I’m nervous, too. Like the feeling of having to swim the distance to be allowed in the deep part of the lake. I don’t know if I have the writing chops to write all these words.

But I’m going to camp anyway because just the possibility of writing a great story makes going worth it.