At my camp in the Adirondacks, they give out an award called the “Dirt Eater” award. Every year it goes to the camper who has the worst wipe out. In 2015, I was the dirt eater!

One cool sunny day, I was with a group of eight boys riding mountain bikes. We were on a gravel road. I had biked it before so even though a hill was approaching, I was confident. I sped up to feel the wind but before I could accelerate even more the rider behind me bumped my wheel. I started swerving and I knew I had to hit the brake. It was a red wire/blue wire situation: one brake would send me over the handlebars and one would slow me down and bring me to safety. And then I chose the right feeling confident. Then I was going faster than ever. I started swerving and everything was happening really fast. I went over the handlebars and into the uneven and hard gravel road. There was no sound, just heavy breathing. There was no blood, just pain. I was like, “Whoah — what just happened to me?” I felt pain because I thought I should feel pain but the real pain hadn’t hit me yet.

I crawled over to the side of the road. Two counselors ran over with a first aid kit and called for help on the radio. A counselor started wrapping my leg with a cloth and I was kind of scared because he was cutting the cloth with a knife so close to my skin. I started to brush the little rocks that left dents in my skin off my body. And that is when I really felt the pain and wondered if I would have a scar. When the counselor was done wrapping me up, I felt like a mummy.

I heard the crunch of a pickup truck’s wheels rolling down the gravel road. It was a pickup truck from camp. It showed up in about three minutes and brought me back to camp. I remember the truck had two steps and I felt like an old man struggling to get up them.

I had so many bandages I couldn’t swim and my mom was shocked to see me on visiting day. But now I only have a little scar on my elbow that looks like a pink raisin.

This scar reminds me of my injuries and I will remember that accident forever. I will tell my kids and my grandkids about it in detail. I hope they don’t win the dirt eater award like me.

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