baylor line

A Place in the Baylor Line

And so it began. After getting lost, completely missing I-6, in  the rain, I finally made it to Baylor. Giant suitcase, pillow and bed stuff, and (extremely cool) Student card in hand, I was ready to begin my adventure at Baylor Line Camp. I was nervous, and somewhat hesitant, but I was thrilled to be at my future home. After I dropped off my stuff in the room in Brooks College, I headed to our first large group meeting, and played tons of fun icebreakers and did tons of “Sic ‘Em”s! I saw so many Lake people; it was nuts! Sam, Eric, Lauren, Emily, Lizzie, and Michelle. That made me feel a lot more comfortable- having lots of people I knew. Then we separated into our small groups. Our leader’s name was Danielle- She’s the sweetest, cutest, most fun ball of sunshine I’ve ever met!! I absolutely love her personality! She’s EXACTLY like Poppy from NYLF! Which now brings me to my next point….

Everybody looked like someone I knew/know.

And I mean EVERYBODY. i.e. My roomie, Ashley looked EXACTLY like my old friend Carolyn. Crazy right?

Anyway, back to camp…

Then we took a little field trip to the football stadium where we got to eat and then learn all the Baylor Line cheers, and even practiced running on the field! That was such an awesome experience!

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After our small group time and dinner, we played lots of really fun team-building games! We had to (in numerical order) thread a huge, thick rope through a manmade yarn web (with numbered “holes”) on a railing, while all 13 people in my group had to have both hands on it at all times- while also not letting the thick rope touch the actually webbing it was being threaded through. It was so painstaking! We finally got it done in about 12 minutes, which I thought was pretty dang good! The next game required us to make our way across the B-Ball court with nothing but 4 big intertubes. No one was allowed to touch the ground, so we ended up getting about 6 people standing on each inflated tube, balancing, wobbling, and bracing each other, trying not to fall so we wouldn’t have to start over. So, basically, we made a bridge of the tubes, and once we got all we could on the four tubes, we’d pass the empty one up to the front and start the process over again. Finally, in order to claim third place, we had to jump about five feet to make it to the finish line of the other side of the court.

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Next, we had to all stand on a tarp, while 4 people, including myself, were blindfolded. But here’s the catch: we had to flip the tarp over without anyone setting foot on the gym floor. So, I had the idea of us all jumping in unison while someone pulled the tarp from under us to flip it over bit by bit. And sure enough, it worked! Our last task required us to get our whole team across the gym floor- but we were only allowed 4 “trips”- or journeys on foot, and also one free trip. Once a “trip” was made, that person who walked on foot had to return to the starting line. However, I realized something very important. A “trip” could consist of a journey of multiple people walking at once. And then if those people carried people on their backs, that would be our way of taking people across!  So we got 5 guys to piggyback the rest of us over. So, once they dropped us off at the finish, they’d go back to the start. So that was trip #1. Then they piggybacked 2 more people across, so it was just the original 5 guys left. Two teamed up, and piggybacked e/o and then that left us one. Our one free trip. We were the only group that got it! After that, since we finished early, cuz we’re just so smart, we played a game called “Pterodactyl”, which involved covering your teeth with your lips and trying to pass along “Pterodactyl” without smiling or showing your teeth. It was sooo much fun! In fact, this was the birth of the name of our group. GO PTERODACTYLS!

After all the games, we learned we were going to be doing a mini- Broadway production, called SING. Our group merged with Charlie’s Angels and thenceforth became “Charlie’s Pterodactyls.” Our theme was disco, so our task was to create and choreograph and production to go with our mix cd! We had a relay ace with the other teams battling for props!

The next day, we talked about of strengths we all have (we had to take an online test to determine these) Mine were input-collecting ideas/info/things, ideation-creativity/ideas, intellection, strategic, and adaptability. They all fit so perfectly! Then we took a 2 hour bus ride to Independence, TX, where the original Baylor was founded in 1845!! On the way, we played “Speed Friending” which was a ton of fun! A leader would ask a question, and we’d have about a minute each to discus the question and our answers with the person currently next to us. Some included, “do u shower with a loofa, sponge, or hand?”,(I was next to a guy for that on- awkwarddd.) “Lord of the Rings or Star Wars”, “What’s your fave band you’re embarrassed to admit you listen to” etc. It was sooo much fun! I met some really cool people. My throat was really sore after though from talking so much! We had dinner outside the First Baptist Church of Texas, then listened to some awesome speakers (one whome I swore was the old lady from Titanic) inside the church. It was so amazing, cuz that church has been in use since SAM HOUSTON, yes, SAM HOUSTON was a KID!! It was so magical. Then we took a tour of the old grounds. Then, as night fell, we were given our Baylor Line Jerseys! Our leaders then led us to this beautiful candle lit path that guided us to four, huge, majestic columns; the only remnants of the actual school. Gosh it was gorgeous. They were so mysterious and beautiful, yet contained a special aura of serenity and peace in the night. We had a beautiful acoustic worship time, and then we all lined up, one by one with our jerseys one, and walked through the threshold of doorway and columns, and officially became part of the Baylor Family. We were met by board members and even the President, who were more than welcoming with warm embraces, handshakes, high-5s, and even fist pounds. It was such a moving experience- I will never forget those moments of true acceptance and belonging. That’s when I first found my place in the Baylor Line.

On the way back home, we watched something called PigSkin, which is the biggest non-broadway performance in America. It’s a bunch of groups of kids who put on mini musicals! It was awesome! Once we were back, we had a huge pep rally for the freshman and then they gave us gooey, warm cookies and milk!! Some of the others in my groups and I took extra- YUM! Every night, my roommate and I talked about the most random stuff till the wee hours of the morning- it was soo much fun! I love late night talks!

            On day 3, we practiced out SING performance. And OMG, was it awful. Caylin, this girl with musical theatre background was like “I’m not used to working with people not of my caliber.” And from then on, everyone hated her. She was rude, sardonic, condescending, and just plain old mean. We decided to call her “The Queen Bee” rather than self righteous B#?*! During our free time though, we decided to climb a giant oak tree and play ultimate Frisbee! It was sooo much fun! I got pretty scraped up, but it was totally worth it! Later, we did a ton of outdoor team games/ races! We raced back to back with a tennis ball between us and had to sit on water balloons, tried getting a hula hoop through 30 people with interlocked hands, had egg and sack races, races passing a banana peel between our feet to the end of the line, passing a sponge down and collecting the most water, and a few others. In the sponge one though, when it was my turn to squeeze the water, I totally slipped and rammed straight into the chair holding the bucket of water, and a lot of it splashed out L It was super embarrassing, but we all laughed it off J Then there was a HUGE tug of war contest! We won the first round, but lost the second. It was so hard! Then they made a huge slip n’ slide out of a tarp! Right up my ally! Alex and I did it at least 8 times! I was soaked and full of grass and dirt! Later that night, we went to a place called “Common Grounds”, which was this awesome hipster coffee house with a huge back yard and concert stage! There was live music and free food and coffee! I got an Arnold Palmer, but it was with peach tea, which made it super yummy! We danced for a while, then went back to Kokernot Hall’s basement and played Mafia! Gosh we played that game for hours upon end! Julie was always so crazy and laughing hysterically at random moments. Then afterwards, we just chilled out and hung out in one of the guys’ lounges and literally just talked for a few hours until like 2 AM. We talked about everything from pizza to music, to who knows what. That was such a great bonding experience.  The best part was realized how good and genuine the guys here are. Each one I interacted with was such a true gentleman, and was kind, considerate, and down to earth.

             Day 4 was our last full day. We did a service project in a neighborhood where we put flyers advertising free food for kids on people’s doors. It was nice, but super hot! We finished up our routine for SING, thanks to another girl who helped overthrow the queen bee! We played more Mafia, and then before we knew it, we had our Banquet and listened to some amazing speakers. Then right after was SING! It was soooo nerve-racking cuz no one knew the routine well, we weren’t together at all, and the other acts were all so amazing and ours was crap! However, once we were on stage, it was so amazing! I’ve never danced on stage before, but for some reason a huge wave of energy came over me, and I and I had me “Show face” on by choice, rather than force! It was such a thrill! Our music was snippets of “Stayin’ Alive” “Burn baby, burn”, “white boy” and “YMCA”. It was such a hit! Everyone was dancing to YMCA, which was totally unexpected! It was absolutely fantastic! Afterwards, we had a dance, led my Danielle, which was off the chain! It was especially nice, cuz it was more like Zumba, rather than grinding gross stuff! Then we played Apples to Apples in the hallways, and of course played Mafia some more. Then, after that, some of us played Frisbee in the dark. It was the coolest thing ever! The Frisbee had a light on it so it looked like a space ship! Then we heard voices from above, and saw people on the roof of the parking garage, egging us to throw it up there. So, Jeremy attempted, and got really close, but it fell to the floor below. So, rationally of course, Alex and I ran up each of the drives in the garage to each level to retrieve it. We proceeded to play Frisbee on the roof of the empty parking garage till about 2 AM. It was such a blast! Then after playing some on the ground, we got restless, and embarked on an adventure.

            On this adventure, we decided to walk all the way to the Science building and played in the giant, awesome fountains! It was sooo much fun! The water was so cold and refreshing! We were on such an adrenaline rush! We continues our adventure by playing “The floor is lava” and spit off the giant bridge to see how far it would go. Then when Alex and I saw down on the steps to the science building, we decided we’re going to outline our wet butt prints in chalk, each time we do this, and then see how our butt prints change! We were buckled over laughing. It was great. Then, we sought out the Judge Baylor Statue. The tradition is to take a picture with him, so we did just that. We each took individuals, then took a couple groups shots, then simply sat on the statue, talking and laughing for about an hour, watching the cop cars patrolling. Then we got really hungry and decided to eat the cupcakes I made last week. By then it was about 4am, so I went back to my room. However, my roomie and I ended up talking another good 30 mins. Boy, was it hard getting up later that morning!

            Our last day was short and sweet, but incredibly heart straining.  We had an awesome “Send-Off Celebration” after breakfast, and then had to say our last goodbyes with our small groups. We decided to write down all our names and goals on a bandana in sharpie, and then cut them into strips, dipped them in the fountain, and then made bracelets! It was so amazing! I couldn’t believe how incredibly close we’d gotten in just 5 short days. It’s truly phenomenal, looking back. It really was a bittersweet goodbye. I was sooooooooooo tired, and really missed my phone, but at the same time, I was having the time of my life with amazing people, and didn’t even feel the need to text or facebook or anything. So when people ask me “When did you find your place in the line?” I’ll say I found not A place, but Many places, because every one of these things I have described affected me in some way, and made me feel part of something so much bigger. I now know this is the place for me, and I can’t wait to see what the future will hold.