RFH Memoir Contest

organized by Elizabeth Illiano


A memoir is a narrative that reflects on a past experience, usually revealing truths only understood in hindsight.

This quarter, the Tower Review organized a memoir contest open to any RFH student.  After much deliberation, we have decided on a winner…


Camp McWain: A Brief Memoir

by Holly Oberle

“Are we almost there yet?” my brother, Jack, asks for about the fifteenth time.

“Yes, we are almost there, Jack,” my mom replies blatantly.

Butterflies start to flutter within the pit of my stomach as I see the local convenient store, Springer’s, on my right-hand side, a sure sign that we are almost there. As my dad takes a left turn, I am squished up to the side of the window by luggage and my pillow because the car is so packed with all of our necessities for the week.

We pass the farm and its dozens of cows, and we even spot a “chocolate” cow. As our car continues down the half paved, half dirt road, I get even more excited and can barely wait  to get out of the car and smell the fresh pine of the trees surrounding our cabin.

The turn into the campsite makes my butterflies go flying out of my stomach and into my throat, but I catch them in my mouth, so as not to let them out. The thickness of trees surrounds us, which frightens me a little, even though it is the middle of the day and the sun is shining. A cabin comes into view, then another, then another. A smile spreads across my face, and I race to get my shoes on, so I can jump out of the car first.

“Here we are!” says my dad pulling to a stop in front of our cabin. “All of you must help unload the car.”

I hop out of the car and stretch my arms and legs quickly. As I do so, I can see the lake shimmering from the sun’s glare. People are already taking a swim and barbequing down at the Point. I rush to help my dad unload the car, and I run into my room in the cabin that my sister and I share every year. I unzip my blue duffel bag and search through the mess of clothes that I threw in there two days ago. Finally finding my blue and pink striped bathing suit, I change and race down towards the lake as my mom is shouting, “Wait, come back here!”

‘Someone must have had a fire going last night,’ I think to myself as the best smell in the world fills my nose. The smell of a leftover fire and roasted marshmallows, it was what I live for every summer as we make our journey up to Maine.

The increasing excitement gives me the biggest smile as my cousins and aunts and uncles arrive throughout the rest of the day. We may not be at some luxurious hotel swimming in a heated pool, but we are with people whom we love, and we enjoy those seven days that we are away from our overcrowded state of New Jersey. We are in the mountains and open country with no cell phones, no television, just our families and the outdoors. This is the vacation of a lifetime, and I miss it dearly.


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