In her winning essay for our contest, first-time Singing Hills Camper, 10-Year-Old Bridget Dunleavy, shares about the excitement of her first LLYC Rodeo!

My heart beats so fast I worry it will leap out of my chest. Today is my first rodeo. I’m so nervous! I don’t what the big deal is about Rodeo. Everybody is decorated in their vibrant team colors and cheering loudly.

On the ride over I have dragons in my stomach. My cabin mate Ruby and I are jumping in our seats. We wish each other luck and walk to our different teams.

Sporting bright yellow, my team the Bounty Hunters scramble to the bleachers. After talking about it so much, I can’t believe it’s really happening.

“Welcome to the 2018 session two rodeo!” And we go crazy.

The dusty wind whips my hair and the bright lights blind me, but I don’t care. I’m too busy cheering my team through the events. I yell so loud my throat burns. We shout the loudest. We do pretty good on all of the events. “GO BOUNTY HUNTERS,” we scream.

I think we’re doing really well, but now it’s time for the final event: tug of war. It’s the only one I’m doing. We take our spots on the rope. Gripping it hard, we pull. It goes back and forth, but with one final tug we win the match. With a few more pulls we end up winning all of our matches. We celebrate but quickly run back to the bleachers because now it’s time to announce the winner of the whole rodeo. Everyone goes silent.

“You’ve all done a awesome job…”

The dragons in my stomach come back. They announce fourth place, third place, and second place. Did we really win? “And in first place we have the … Bounty Hunters!” We won! My team runs and screams. Dust flies every which way. We really won! We lick our prize popsicles. The juice drips down our sweaty faces.

As I get in my bunk that night, I know I’ll never forget my first rodeo. That was my favorite moment because it was my first time. I was really scared, but it turned out to be super fun. And I’m really excited to wear yellow again next year.