JDP senior Camden

Ok, this one won’t be easy.  JDP senior Camden is my nephew and anyone fortunate enough to do life with this kid knows what an incredible young man he is.  ‘The days will often feel eternal when raising children, but the years will always fly’, truer words have never been spoken.  That’s just as true watching your beloved nephew grow up.   I vividly remember an extended family vacation to Disney World when the cherub faced Camden was just a few months old and our families all shared a house together…seems like the blink of an eye ago.  And with a young man like this, I’m certain his momma just wants to freeze time a little longer to enjoy this last phase of him being fully home.

I even found myself in a unique situation working on Camden’s gallery.  I needed to take breaks and go work on something else in the business, feeling all the emotions pile up in a weight heavier than my heart could bear, knowing that the sooner I finished, the closer he and my twins were to celebrating the culmination of 12 years…

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I’ve watched Camden for years in the role of an incredible big brother to his 3 siblings and a playmate to my boys.  He’s patient and helpful and has grown into quite the referee settling squabbles between his younger siblings.  He is the apple of his mother Tracie’s eye; her first baby soon  to launch from the nest and she’s not ready.   His dad, Matt, equally beams watching Camden destroy his opponents on the soccer field, knowing the hours he poured into him passing on his own mad soccer skills.

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Camden’s mother documents every step of her family’s journey.  The fruits of that labor are her most prized possessions.  So, I wasn’t surprised when Tracie requested a spot for Camden on our wait list for 2022 seniors last year.

I was super excited because there’s a strong trend among DiDios to go big or go home when we lay our hands to something.  And if there’s one thing all my JDP senior moms have in common, it’s that they place a high value on custom portraiture, which is my jam.  They love that we cover who their seniors are now and who they are becoming as young men ready to embrace their next steps.   When I lock down what’s often gone unrecorded for years for their own personal record, the mom’s can’t help but weep.  The boys, however, often need convincing.  I got to skip the convincing part with Camden; he knew this was going to a big deal and brought his go with the flow A game to each and every set up.

Camden’s a senior at South Carroll High and in the engineering program at Career Tech.  When he’s not on the soccer fields with 3 defenders trying to stop his legendary footwork, you’ll see him cheering on his friends at their games.  Sports are a big deal in the Larson household, whether it’s Ravens, Cavaliers, Terps, Vikings, or a sibling’s team, someone’s sure to be at least keeping tabs on a game, if not yelling from the stands.  Camden’s competitive streak isn’t limited to the soccer fields, it extends to his fantasy football team and basically every game where there’s a winner and a loser at the end of play.  His mom, aunt and uncle went to South Carroll as well and some of them can claim state championship banners hanging on the fence!

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Much of Camden’s life has revolved around training and travel related to his competitive soccer teams.  It’s taken him up and down the east coast and it’s a big factor in helping him decide where he’ll be attending college.

Camden has just wrapped up his final season at South Carroll and will soon be done with his travel team Pipeline.  This is a bittersweet time for his dad as well.  Matt was recruited from Minnesota to play Division 1 soccer at University of MD back in the 1993.  He got to be instrumental in earning their 1996 ACC tournament championship.   He’s been Camden’s most influential and vested coach over the years.

The pool season was closing so my JDP senior twins, who are Camden’s cousins, all took to the chilly waters to create these odes to their love for the game.  Braving the water on this cold night was worth it!

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While Camden is most known for his soccer skills, he also decided on a whim to run cross country this year.  His normal dual sport season meant he practiced soccer daily with 2 games at South Carroll weekly and Pipeline practices on the weekends, plus XC meets on on the weekends!  Years of racing up and down the soccer fields has created an incredible runner in Camden who made it to State’s his first season in XC!  Camden’s soccer coach would allow him to miss practice on Wednesdays if he had a XC meet.  While he was competing, his soccer team would be on the fields practicing and cheer Camden on as he finished his race!

Camden’s mom describes his vision for the soccer field as a super power that is all his own.  Camden’s favorite thing about soccer is having control of a ball at his feet and he is dangerous moving through defenders, who try as they might, are very unlikely to stop him.

Camden’s unselfish nature shows through in how he plays as well.  He loves setting up his strikers to score and they love him for it.  As team captain he also takes care of his guys, even if that means setting aside him normal mild mannered self to go toe to toe with the coach if he feels one of his guys is being treated unfairly.

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Camden’s made incredible memories with his closest friends on the soccer field.  His favorite centers around winning the Disney soccer showcase when he played for Celtic.  After investing so much of his life in soccer, he hopes to play in college.  He’s looking at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, University of MD, Virginia Tech, Penn State and Case Western currently with potential to study engineering or business.  With a line up like that, it’s clear Camden is also a stellar student.  He’s in National Honor Society, Science NHS and Future Business Leaders of America as well.  He also sits on the NHS and SGA executive boards while maintaining straight A’s in AP classes!

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Camden’s equal parts athletic and academic and the awards he’s collected for both are quite impressive.   This year he also earned First Team All County and First Team All Conference for region 1A!

Camden’s mind is constantly looking for a puzzle to solve and recently the rubik’s cube has grabbed his attention.  It didn’t take long before he was able to complete it under 1 minute!  Many of his friends enjoy the same challenges and when they aren’t on the fields together, you’ll often find them chilling at Camden’s house playing  games, football and soccer.  Bragging rights are a big deal and Camden doesn’t go down in any competition without a fight, making for epic stand offs and bragging rights with his boys.

Camden’s family added two adorable labradoodles to their family in the last year.  Hux on the left and Sylvie on the right and he adores them!  They literally feel like stuffed animals and adore their people like crazy!

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Good food is a big deal in Camden’s home.  It all started with his Grandy passing on the love of food and time around the table together to her kids so Camden’s mom and dad are often in the kitchen whipping up a feast for friends and family to enjoy.  Camden has taken this on for himself as well.  Whether it’s bruschetta, guacamole, pizza, pasta, he’s happy to whip up snacks for his boys to come chill around the table with him.

Camden cracking eggs, making french toast casserole with my boys.

And this one…our family lost our beloved Poppy, Camden’s grandfather, to Alzheimer’s and Covid in the spring of 2020.  Anyone who knew Pop, knew his great love for his family and for bread.  My boys reminded me how obsessed Camden was about loading up on fresh bread on another family vacation we all took together.  Camden shares these loves as well and this was his homage to our very missed Poppy…now excuse me while I go dry my eyes.

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Camden’s sharp mind has been honed through the hundreds of books he has read.  It’s helped him to develop his own brand of sarcasm into an artform that’s uniquely his.  That, combined with his natural brilliance, competitiveness, and wit means you have to stay on your toes when debating with this one.

And this moment right here…this was the end to our epic session and Tracie started crying when she saw this happening live.  Her little boy, all grown up and ready to bless the world with all he has to offer!  Camden we are all cheering you on and cannot wait to see your next steps!  Thank you for being such an awesome leader to all the younger cousins and for just being you!

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  1. […] got one of Camden’s senior portraits that was sitting out in the house and brought it up to his room to sit on his nightstand. Oh how […]

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