I don’t know who was more anxious or excited come 11:00 a.m. at the shower. Actually both of us were early and Cadence had already been into the shower to make sure no one was inside. Bobby was curious to see the outfit that was being given to him to wear. It was a nice feminine outfit; Bobby even appreciated the panties and bra that came with the outfit.
I began calling him Stephanie or Steph from the start. I was surprised how good his feminine voice was already. I told Steph I hope she didn’t mind that I asked Cadence there to help with her hair and makeup. Makeup was frowned upon at Camp, but we hope as a guest some allowance would be given. We were correct. The makeup would help distinguish Steph from Bobby.
Cadence was surprised that Bobby’s note was accepted without question. Steph was nervous that her note and my introducing her to Erin and our group would go without challenge. Steph was changed and ready for makeup and her hair to be brushed out within ten minutes. Cadence and I both noticed her legs and body were all missing hair in all the correct places. Steph assured me her panties were tight and her boy parts were nicely tucked away.
We managed to sneak on the path from the administration building to go passed the dining hall and to our group. Counselor Erin put her best face forward in giving Stephanie attention. Jayne, Shelby and the rest were happy campers in greeting Steph.
We did not understand Steph’s attraction to Lenny at lunch time, until it came time for riding horses at 2:00 p.m. Lenny had been riding the same horse as Bobby and he was interested as Steph to ride the same horse. It was funny to watch Steph use her charm to get Lenny to agree to ride a different horse. Fortunately or unfortunately Steph had to promise to sit with Lenny at the cookout. It meant for sure that Steph would be there for the night.
Cadence had written a phone message that Bobby would not be back until morning. It was interesting and lucky that allowances were given to Stephanie and Bobby that should have been checked more closely.
Steph’s changing in and out of her swimsuit was the touchiest point of the day. Luckily the girls’ showers and facilities provides for more privacy. The girls were amused with Steph singing in the shower. True to Angie’s word, Steph’s swimsuit was flattering even the top. Lenny continued to show interest in Steph but she showed more interest in being with the girls.
We were not regularly allowed to use our phones but we were allowed to take three pictures each day. The girls never worried or limited themselves to three pictures. We were also quick enough to send messages and pictures. Steph did not know that Angie enjoyed seeing her new sister. There is usually something forgotten in every plan and for Steph and us it was a nightshirt and a sleeping bag.
Ironically Kevin the counselor at Bobby’s hut, volunteered the use of Bobby’s sleeping bag. Before Steph could use it Shelby sprayed the bed roll with perfume to help Steph. Steph whispered to me, “Come tomorrow night I will enjoy the sleeping bag again, thank you.”
When we girls made our way up our tree hut; the time honored tradition of girls painting nails began. Regan spoke up and asked, “Steph does this mean you will be staying a girl for the rest of the camp?” Only Cadence, Bobby and I really caught what she said.
I am sure Shelby and Jayne assumed she meant and was asking if Steph was staying the rest of the week. Shelby told a story, “I went to a camp last year where a brother was forced to be a girl camper the rest of the summer because of mischief he got caught doing.” Steph was now nervous she would be in trouble.
Shelby was the last to figure out what Regan was saying was true about Steph. Finally Regan spoke up. “Two things: Steph didn’t do this without help. I want to know who and if Steph really enjoys being a girl? Second, if everyone agrees to keep the secret; Erin’s the one who can’t know.”
Cadence took responsibility for Bobby becoming Stephanie. When Steph broke down and cried everyone surrounded her and gave her a hug. We stayed up until Erin showed up at midnight. Regan was the one who decided we would help Steph take off her nail polish before swimming in the morning. “Hopefully the water of the lake will take away the smell of the polish. Then if Steph can change back after the shower things should be safe for everyone.”
Swimming and the shower also helped Bobby to get his hair to cooperate with the changeover. Thursday evening was skit night and our group decided to surprise Bobby. We decided to re-enact the story of the woman at the well. Cadence justified using Bobby by saying, “Boys don’t understand the predicament of the woman, because women get judged even though men are also involved. We’re sorry to pick on you Bobby, but it’s important to us that someone understands the woman’s point of view.”
Cadence had taken my skirt and blouse that I was saving for the dance the next night. Bobby resisted a little knowing the other boys would insist it be him instead of any of them. Cadence, Regan and I helped to dress Bobby as the woman. One pastor objected until others told him it wasn’t new; similar things happened most years.
We did not get elaborate in dressing up Bobby, and we worked to make sure he did not look identical to Steph. He did have lip-gloss and his fingers were done in a pretty pink. The skit and our interpretation was a hit and most everyone thought Bobby was cute. More were upset that Cadence played Jesus. They were upset because a girl should not play Jesus. Cadence seemingly is no shrinking violet. “This stinks,” she said, “My Mom said I was the Baby Jesus when I was a baby, because the youngest boy was two years old.”
“I have a strong faith but I get upset when a Church says they love women and want youth in the church. Then you get upset with me because I think Jesus is real and I like playing him.” Quite a few people mostly campers and women thanked Cadence for speaking up.
The Pastor who was upset with Bobby being dressed as the woman at the well became rude when he saw us after the program saying, “Cadence being Jesus was way out of line.” He didn’t know what to make of it when instead of arguing with him; we just walked away. We said unkind things between us after we walked away.
Bobby had decided to wear his skit outfit until he went back to his hut. I quietly gave him his underpants afraid the boys would tease or worse if they saw him wearing panties. He complimented and thanked us for including him in the skit. He thanked me Friday morning in the morning for the panties. He had returned everything but the panties for which we were both grateful. He gave me his phone number and email address saying Steph wanted to visit with me.
The hardest thing for me on Friday was to say good-bye to Velvet, the horse I rode that week as well as last year. Faith walked up behind me as I was with Velvet. Faith whispered, “Is she the first one to know you were a girl?”
I turn so I could hug my sister as I pat Velvet. With a giggle in my voice, “She’s not the first, but animals are good to share secrets with. Velvet was the first one I could stand up and tell eye to eye.”
Faith and I sat and visited each missing the next activity. Faith asked, “Janelle, are you comfortable being a girl?” I thought it was a silly question at first, especially having gone through my first period. ‘Of course I am; I have to be, don’t I?’ I began to think: ‘About how I feel about being Janelle.’ “Well you know I am very happy about being a Grant and having a family. Mom, Joy and you help me in being a girl as well as making sure I enjoy it without getting too serious.”
“I am not as comfortable with liking boys as everyone thinks I am.” I pause and look intentionally for her reaction as I say, “I am worried that I am too comfortable being around girls and what it says about me.”
Faith giggled, “Joy and I wondered about that but we’re not sure why. Do you see yourself as Ronnie looking at boys? Sis thinks you don’t understand that friendship and love between girls is different. We’re not afraid to love a girlfriend, but it usually isn’t about sex. We would love to talk about these things with you but you seem scared in some ways about being a girl. I mean a woman.”
“It might not be fair that you are so quickly becoming a woman. But as Joy reminds me, it probably didn’t start just months ago. I love you Sis and I hope you can talk to me about things more, like we’re doing now.”
I confessed to Faith, “Having Lacy and now Cadence as girlfriends is hard because I find I love them. It hasn’t been about sex yet it is more intense than I have experienced. I’ve been afraid that Cadence would kiss me and I might kiss her back.”
Faith, “Don’t panic if it happens, she too has feelings. What if she would be affectionate to you? I don’t think I’m a lesbian but I can see it being easier to love another girl at times. I know Joy took you over to one of the sorority houses at the college. Brainy Joy finds she is more comfortable being a smart person she is around other women. They see her as an equal and aren’t threatened by her.”
Nurse Paula came looking us; “Are you two okay?” “Then I’ll ask you to get back to your regular activities.” Paula asked me as we walked back, “Do you want to talk with me?”
“No, actually it was real nice to talk through things with my sister.” We both smiled. She looked at me again, “You know there is a rumor among a few girls that some of you dressed a boy as a girl the other day.”
“I would think it be next to impossible to do something like that and not get caught. Was the boy harmed or brutally force, do you know,” I asked?
Nurse Paula paused as we were ready to walk in different directions; “No boy seems to have been harmed. If I thought any force or abuse occurred I would be digging into things more vigorously. But Sharon, the Waterfront Director said there was a day guest the other day. She thought the girl’s name was Stephanie. Sharon said she was in your hut group and was warmly received.”
“You don’t think she was really a girl do you? If she was, she had me fooled.” I was sure denying to have been with Steph would have only caused trouble.
Girls at another campsite entertained three boys by painting their nails during the quiet time after lunch. It became the buzz of the camp as the afternoon. It was a common practice at craft time on the last day that girls finished with their craft projects could paint their nails in preparation of going home the following morning. Many girls had brought to camp blue, green and yellow polish, the camp colors.
It wasn’t unheard of that a boy or two had their nails done; this year there were probably twenty of the thirty-six boys who had their nails polished. I did three of them but only one was done with blue and yellow. Since we were the last group to crafts they couldn’t blame us for starting it.
Sharon was being very nice to Cadence and me and invited us to paddle out into the lake. “I was on staff at another camp last year, where they disciplined a boy who caused trouble by making him attend the rest of the camp as another girl camper. Someone thought that Stephanie the other day might have really been a boy. She was much too refined and convincing to me to have been so.”
Sharon paddled farther out on the lake with Cadence and me, further out on the lake than we could have gone without staff. “I just want you two to understand there could be ramifications for camp staff that would cost us jobs.” Then she asked, “Off the record, do either of you think Bobby is possibly transgendered?”
“Bobby Mitchell, you think he might be trans… whatever,” Cadence said.
“There are three Bobs at camp, I didn’t say Bobby Mitchell.”
“If he is, he would have my help if he wanted it.” I looked Sharon directly in the eyes and said, “I am saying something confidentially?” When given permission, I said, “Cadence and my sister are the only ones here who know I use to be identified as Ronnie Hammers. I attended camp as Ronnie last year. I won’t tell anyone else’s story, but if something happened for someone who was transgendered and it was healthy I’m all for it.”
It was no problem to see that Sharon was shocked about my personal revelation. She was however pleased and comfortable with me. The three of us visited until we had to go in for supper. Sharon and Cadence asked many questions about how I came to believe I was a girl and how it has changed my life. “I am sure no one sought to endanger someone’s job, but I really doubt people figured out anything until it was over.”
Three girls that we knew of had given a boy camper the top of their two piece swimsuit to wear. They were worn under their camp shirts for the closing program Friday night. Thankfully those guys knew enough to shake hands with most people they greeted that night.
Come Saturday after breakfast, six girls had boys helping to bring their stuff up to the Rec Center where parents picked campers up to go home. A number of the boys were still wearing fingernail polish. Since each of the guys said they had a great time, their parents weren’t complaining.
Bobby was all smiles as his sister and Mom arrived at camp to pick him up. He was verbally saying good-bye to most of the campers. When he came up to give me a hug I knew why. He had talked a girl into selling the top of her swimsuit and he was going to wear it home. I suggested Bobby should give Nurse Paula and Sharon a hug before he left.
Anyone within ten feet could hear Bobby tell both of them as he gave them a hug. “I want to thank you for helping me to have such a good time.” Before he got to their car his Mom said, “You haven’t given me a hug like that.”
Bobby did give his Mom a big hug and with that she turned to Angie, “Did you know?” Then she turned to Bobby, “Now get in the front seat and tell me everything you really enjoyed about camp this year?” Bobby did as he was told as Angie said, “Mom already knew.”
Mom and Joy came to pick us up and Cadence’s parents arrived just before them. Joy quickly told me their arrival together was on purpose. Nurse Paula had called Dr. Grant, Grandma, about her granddaughter practicing psychology trying to help a boy who might be transgendered.
Nurse Paula and Sharon the Waterfront Director met informally with both families. Mr. Rawlings knew something about Bobby but it was in the past that he wouldn’t share. He was anxious to hear how Bobby was upon leaving this morning.
Nurse Paula remarked that my parents should have informed them that I had been a boy. Mr. Rawlings speaking up might have been the most helpful in resolving matters. “I have been fairly up to date on Miss Jan Grant’s situation. It is my understanding that she is in fact a girl and shouldn’t be put under a microscope questioning otherwise. My daughter has been at this camp and I am very comfortable if they have become friends.”
The Rawlings held their composure as Sharon explained, “Cadence might have helped Jan dress one of the boys as a girl.”
Cadence asked, “Mom and Dad can we meet alone with the Grants.” There we explained, “A boy did change and I (Jan) had the clothes he changed into. We never saw him undress or helped him change, unless helping with makeup and his hair counts. We won’t tell the camp whom it was, nor information that might help them to know.” I said, “Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings, Cadence didn’t know beforehand what I was doing. She only helped so the boy and I didn’t get in trouble.”
Everyone was back talking together and my Mom spoke up, “I think the best we can do is to say we will get to the bottom of things at home and discipline them accordingly. We’re pretty sure there were no improprieties, but there will be consequences for what was done.”
“Dr. Grant told me she was sure you would figure out how to handle. Ms Jones and I just wanted you to know and hoped you would handle things. Unless the Camp has problems from the boy’s parents this should be sufficient.”
Sharon asked me as we began to walk away, “Did you suggest to Bobby to say good-bye to us with a hug?”
I said, “I’m not telling.” Cadence said, “Bobby who?”
We stopped at a restaurant on the way home, even though Faith and I weren’t real hungry. The Rawlings also stopped and Cadence pointed out that Bobby Mitchell’s car was there.
Mr. Rawlings said, “I have a reservation and at least four should already be here.” I can’t say I was fully surprised to see Dad and Grandma Grant. They were sitting at a table with the Mitchell’s away from others, in a section only we were using.
Dad gave me a hug and whispered, “Don’t be afraid, think before you speak and above anything else don’t lie.”
Mrs. Mitchell looks to me, “Bobby says I have you to thank for helping him. I also know Angie was part of it.”
“Mrs. Mitchell, I know you are probably very surprised, but I hope you aren’t mad… I mean angry with Bobby. He didn’t plan anything at camp, but I already believed he was a girl.” Bobby must have been to the girl’s room as he had a blouse on and his hair was brushed out and he was looking like Stephanie again.
“I am not angry with him or you; I guess I put him into some kind of predicament and something was going to happen. I am glad no one is in trouble and no one got hurt. Dr. Grant says a lot of these things come out with someone hurt and in trouble.”
“Bobby says he likes the name Stephanie, you gave him. I think it is a pretty name for her.”
Dad spoke up, “It took awhile for all of you to get here, and does that mean you got into some trouble at Camp?”
“A couple of people there knew something happened and were fairly sure two of our girls were involved. But they will let us get to the bottom of things and hold the girls accountable at our discretion.” Mr. Rawlings turned to Bobby, “Well young lady are you happy with how things went this week?”
Everyone got quiet until Grandma suggested we just talk about camp. We ordered lunch and it wasn’t until lunch was served that Steph was comfortable with her voice and being a girl. I hadn’t noticed but Mrs. Rawlings gave Cadence a larger bag for when we went with Steph back to the girl’s room. There was a pair of girl’s shorts and sandals for Steph to wear home.
When we got back to the table Mom pushed an envelope over to Stephanie. “You might want to consider sharing part of that with your sister. Then again if you come with your sister, I might just let her get an outfit or two above that.”
“You can’t do that you have a business to run,” Mrs. Mitchell said apologetically.
“If I get two customers coming back I will have made a wise investment.” Steph was so precious in saying thank you; I knew Mom already felt even.
Mr. Rawlings said, “Steph if you ever need a dad to talk with I will try to do the best I can. And if things ever get too much, I want you to promise to call me.”
Before we got into our cars to go home, I went to Cadence to give her a hug. She was surprise and gave me a kiss as well and then apologized. I knew she was embarrassed, but I also felt like she meant to kiss me. I gave her a second hug. “Don’t be sorry, we’ve become special friends. We should talk soon.”
To be continued…
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