Heaven in the Hills of PA
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 by Taylor
Heaven in the Hills of PABy Taylor Galloway
Early RiseDriving from my house in New Jersey to Woodward, PA takes around five hours, nothing compared to about 18 from Florida. Awaking with the sun was torture for my summer sleep schedule, but was well worth the missed trip from the Sand Man. Trying to stay awake was difficult, but the water and rock structure scenery made it easier.
First DaysArriving at Camp is a relief; the wait is over. My Mom worked as a driver for the week I went, so I was lucky enough to get an extra day to skate. After registering and getting set up in the cabin, the time to get tested comes up. The test takes place at one of the parks; its purpose is to see how comfortable you look on the board and which instruction group would be the best fit. I didn’t do too well on the test, but all of the instructors are laid back dudes. Alec Holst, FOCUS skate mag photographer, was my instructor and he will show you the way to float those tre flips. Every camper has to have two hours of instruction each day. There is also a brunch for everyone to test out the durability of their stomachs.
Week Eight BeginsAll of the older campers (14-17) have afternoon instruction beginning at 1pm. Most wouldn’t skate before instruction, choosing to get their beauty rest. Instruction is chill - the group decides where we will to skate, or if someone wants to get a trick we all go to that spot. At 3pm there will be some sort of contest to end instruction. During the week I was there, there was a barrier contest, flat ground high ollie & hippie jump contest, street contest, mini-ramp contest, and a high ollie contest from a bank ramp. The skate day ends at 10pm, when everyone has to be in the cabin, and lights are out by 11pm.
Cabin 21 B was where I stayed for the days at camp. Everyone in my cabin was from the northeast (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut) and we all got along, made jokes, and farted more than needed. It was definitely an adjustment sharing a bathroom, and watching a mushroom grow out of the bathroom wall all week. You’re in the cabin a max of two hours each day...other than sleeping time. By the end of the week everyone in the cabin became friends, based on one common trait - skateboarding.
That is the best part about going to Woodward...making friends so easily and remaining friends based on one common joy. No one in school gets it. People at work? Forget it. The heaven of Woodward is just being surrounded by people who actually get it. Going there for a week will clear your head and show that there is still hope left in the world. If you ever get a week in the summer that is open for just laying around eating too many TastyKakes, get off the couch and drive to that special place laying in the hills of Pennsylvania; you’ll burn more calories and make some worthwhile pals.