Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Quince Orchard junior hits small screen

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Brian Lewis/The Gazette
MacKenzie Miller, 15, who will be a junior at Quince Orchard High School, will be featured in "Camped Out," an MTV reality show that will air in the spring. The show follows her adventures as a camper at Timber Ridge Camp in West Virginia.

Oh, the drama. The cutthroat competitions, the teary-eyed kids missing mom and the boys, the boys!, all for 7.5 weeks.

MacKenzie Miller, a rising junior at Quince Orchard High School, knows the drill — the varsity cheerleader has spent six summers at Timber Ridge Camp, a co-ed camp in West Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

And now her crowning achievements and camp crises have been caught on camera.

The 15-year-old from Gaithersburg known as "Mackie" will appear this spring in "Camped Out," an MTV reality show that follows teens from across the country at summer camp.

"They literally filmed, like everything, from the second I got up, to the second I went to sleep," MacKenzie said. "I think it's going to be really fun to see my summer on TV."

Hanging out in cabins, mealtime chatter, pranks and some "really funny scenes," such as the boys dressing in girls' clothes, all made for film fodder.

So did "the problems," said MacKenzie, remembering a boy who showed an interest in her, then came to regret his overtures.

"We got in like a fight, it was like really bad. And then he went and called his attorney to try to get it removed for what I said on the camera," she said. "I was just like: ‘Leave me alone, I don't like you.'"

Then there are the Color Wars, a Timber Ridge highlight. MacKenzie, a counselor-in-training, was a team captain. She helped counselors lead the Green Autobots in "every sport" from track and field to swimming and canoeing. Leading songs and crafting team banners were par for the course, she said.

MacKenzie's 14-year-old sister, Brady, a freshman at QOHS, and brother, Griffin, 11, a 6th-grader at Ridgeview Middle School, go to Timber Ridge, too. Their mom, Lisa, attended the camp and was a counselor, and she works several days a week in the camp office.

Last week, dad Rich Miller stocked the fridge for his family's return.

"The friendships at our camp that we make … Everything is so special with what we can do there," MacKenzie said. "I'd rather be at camp than at home."