by Joey Rayburn
CASCO, MAINE – Love was in the air this summer at Camp Manitoba, where for eight weeks a budding romance between 17-year olds Winona Cornish and Marty Reynolds grew. However, as the summer came to an end, so did any chance of the teens taking their ephemeral romance to “the next level.”
“I first saw Marty on the second day of camp,” Cornish remembered. “He was on the high dive and pulled off this really cool front flip. Sure, his friend had to push him off the diving board, and him landing the front flip was mostly chance. It was still pretty cool!”
For Cornish, a summer romance was something she had fantasized of having ever since she had started coming to Camp Manitoba four years ago. “Who wouldn’t want one? You go out into the woods, meet someone cute, sleep with them in the cabin where they keep the inner tubes, and then never see them again,” Cornish explained. “It’s the perfect practice for all the real dating you’ll do when you get back to school in the fall!”
However, this summer signified Cornish’s final chance at achieving this teenage dream: she has aged out of Camp Manitoba and won’t be able to return next year. Luckily, the stars had aligned for her to meet the boy she had seemingly been waiting on for four years.
“The first time I saw Winona, she was walking past the archery stand. I was so nervous, I accidentally let go of the arrow I had nocked and somehow shot a bullseye,” Reynolds revealed. “It reaffirmed my belief in a higher power.”
Despite Reynolds lack of confidence, a romance soon began to blossom between the two love birds. “We ended up sitting next to each other a lot in the mess hall,” Reynolds explained. “I think it was just an accident, though?”
“No, it was super on purpose,” Cornish clarified.
While Cornish and Reynolds spent most of the summer together, flirting and gabbing to their friends about the other, the two never, “did anything to make it official,” according to Cornish. “I floated the idea us kissing once, but he just kept pointing out constellations!” Reynolds confronted the allegations, claiming, “it’s really hard to see Cassiopeia where I’m from!”
Despite this setback, Cornish had high hopes for the end of summer dance, Enchantment Under the Eastern White Pine Trees. She believed this would finally be the moment where she and Reynolds would cement their “love” for each other.
At the dance, Cornish and Reynolds are reported to have slow danced to Cabin 14’s counselor singing Earth Angel before taking a walk by Lake Oologah. “It was the perfect spot to have our first kiss,” Cornish said. “I started talking about how, after tomorrow, we’d probably never see each other again. I thought for sure that would get him to make a move!”
After a brief pause, Reynolds responded with a simple request: “Well, if you’re ever down in Boston, look me up in the Yellow Pages!”
Cornish was devastated: “He walked me back to my cabin and left me with a high-five. I never saw him after that.”
As Cornish and Reynolds packed up their respective cabins, both managed to look at the bright side of their time together over the summer. “I’m really happy that I got to spend the time with her that I did, even if things kind of ended on a whimper,” Reynolds said. “I never thought in a million years I would get to know someone so cool! I’m really lucky!”
Cornish, on the other hand, took a different approach in describing their summer-long love: “I don’t know if I’d call it love. Infatuation, maybe? Look, he was there. That’s half the battle, right?”