From Little World to Big World

By: 
Emily Baldwin
Class of: 
2016

I often refer to St. Lawrence as a little world. Like many others, I am always pleased to find a fellow Laurentian in a seemingly obscure area.

A stained-glass window on the chapel says, "We have lit a candle in the wilderness that will never be extinguished.” That’s because it doesn’t matter where we are in the “wilderness”, our Laurentian flame draws us together. While I was unaware of it at the time, my candle was ignited when I was ten years old on the shores of Camp Arcadia in Casco, Maine.

Before I was canoeing on the Grasse River, hiking in the Adirondacks, or living in my sorority house, I was canoeing on Pleasant Lake, hiking Blueberry Mountain, and living with six girls in a cabin in the woods. When the chapel bells play at 5 p.m., I think back to my 7:30 a.m. waking bell at Arcadia. For seven formative summers, I wore a blue uniform, attended candle light ceremonies, played tennis, and met my life long sisters and best friends. Little did I know, my blue uniform was etched in scarlet and brown.

When returning as a counselor at Camp Arcadia, I was surprised by how much I unknowingly learned about St. Lawrence while at camp. I fell in love with the Arcadian vibe I felt during my visit to St. Lawrence and was excited to report that I found the “Arcadia” of college campuses. However, I quickly learned that this connection had already been discovered, because (plot twist!) many Arcadians became Laurentians long before I did. I learned that Arcadia’s director, unit coordinator, my lodge counselor, counselor-in-training, and my sister’s best friend all attended St. Lawrence! Now, I am one of three Arcadians who are current students at St. Lawrence.

It’s funny where Laurentians find each other in the big world. My parents say they found Arcadia through a friend’s recommendation, however I think Arcadia found me. Clearly, I was a Laurentian in training.

At Camp Arcadia, I formed bonds with friends that will never be broken. I learned to be confident and independent, and how to set and accomplish goals. I fell in love with the white pines, the century old traditions, and the songs we sang.

Now a senior at St. Lawrence, these values have circled back into my life, as I find myself appreciating similar aspects of my Laurentian experience.

I look forward to seeing where this unexpected connection takes me as I move to New York City to work for a financial communications agency, Vested. Canton to New York City feels like a significant change, however I know I’m fully prepared because of the lessons I learned from my little worlds. While I will never fully understand why so many people are both Arcadians and Laurentians, one thing will always remain true—I will always have a Laurentian by my side, whether I know it or not.