Each camp has their own special traditions that are unique to that camp and incorporate every past, present, and future camper. The traditions help create an eternal bond between yourself and the camp and preserves the spirit and values of what the camp stands for. Camp Blue Ridge traditions like Thursday Night Tribes and Group Sing are just two of many traditions that bind all the generations of campers. Though the physical camp may change, the traditions always remain the same and unite us all.
My summer family (or better described as my summer sisters) are the ones that I got to choose. The bond between my camp friends has become unbreakable after living together for a seven-week stretch every summer over the last 10 years. Camp Blue Ridge provides a family that comes from different places and different backgrounds but allows us all to unite as one.
Never before camp was losing your voice something that you wanted to happen. Getting to scream, cheer and sing on the top of your lungs is one of the greatest feelings. Meals are not complete until there is singing and standing up on a chair to lead the entire camp in song. Leading unconsciously and humming a camp song are definitely symptoms of missing camp during the ten months we are away. Counselors leaving their legacy and their impressions on younger campers is so critical and one of the most rewarding experiences.
Camp friends are the best friendships that we will cherish for a lifetime. They are people of all ages that you will always count on. The ones you build memories with, share secrets with and try new things with. Sleeping in a bunk together for seven weeks consecutively with little to no electronics and outside communication allows you to become so close. From late night talks to experiencing new things together the bond is unbreakable.
The best part of going to summer camp is the freedom: feeling free to let go, free to try new things and free to just be a kid. At camp, the worries are hopefully limited to what activity to choose or what clothes to wear. Camp surrounds you with people who want to help you grow and want to really get to know you. The best advice is to enjoy every minute because time slips by so quickly.
Camp is the optimal place to try out new things and is also a safe and nurturing environment to develop new skills. It provides opportunities to do things we might not ordinarily have the opportunity to do such as swim in a lake or ride on a zip line. My best advice would be to try one new thing every day that scares and excites you.
My entire family has gone to summer camp and the same camp at that. Seeing my mom and cousins still singing the same songs that I do and still speaking to their camp friends endlessly, proves to me how valuable the camp experience is. I am particularly proud and happy with the friendships I have made and the knowledge that these are lifelong bonds. All children should be given the opportunity to make memories that last a lifetime, have a summer home that helps shape you forever and make friendships that will never be severed!