For this one, you must reassure a group of campers while you become more frightened.
CLOSING SPEECH (any gender, mid teens through late thirties)
I've been thinking.
Ha. I'm always thinking.
But I've been thinking especially hard about tonight. What should I say? How can I express to you all how much I love y-... sorry, we're not supposed say things like that. I don't mean to make any of you uncomfortable. But I do care about all of you. Every camper here... you don't know what this summer has meant for me.
I want you to know: Nobody here has to be afraid. Not ever. Tomorrow your parents or whatever will pick you up and you'll be back in the--
Sorry, did someone--?
Okay. But... yes. Back in the world. Sometimes the world can be a scary place. I know that. Believe me, I know that. None of you know what I was going through before camp-- sorry. Not appropri--
Nothing. Ha. Nobody said anything. Nobody hears anything--
B-but that's, like the point, right? You all help me see that I can trust myself. You all have taken such healthy risks this summer. And maybe you FAIL. But you just bounce back. So, I've learned so much from you:
whether I mess up this speech,
or whether my future isn't certain
or whether I get scared by the occasional noise or breeze,
or voice that might be, might be just in my head,
I know it's not real,
not real for anyone else
and maybe it's just a THOUGHT
or maybe there IS something there
but nobody else can hear it?
Or maybe SOME of you can hear it
but you're saying anything because you're afraid to speak out or
it's a PRANK and that's even WORSE
because if it WERE
then the world really IS a scary place
because people don't treat each other well
and it doesn't matter what you do,
you just have to hope
that it's not going to happen to--
STOP! JUST. STOP!
I love you all. That's all.
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes. If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"