When my mom told me about the opportunity to talk about how much I love House In The Wood Camp it’s going to be easy, because I had so many amazing memories and spent so much time at House In The Wood. It was by far the best experience I’ve had ever.
I met so many amazing people there. I wouldn’t have been able to do the things I’ve done and experience the things I experienced and become the person I am now without SCOPE’s scholarship because my mom would not have been able to afford it. It was $500-$600 to go to camp and we couldn’t afford it, and SCOPE scholarships said you could go for $50. For $50 we could get an Xbox game or a basketball or something that would keep you in the house during the summer, instead of being able to go to Wisconsin, for a week or two weeks, depending on the session and basically get away from the city, and it’s the most dangerous time, especially in the Austin area [in Chicago]. It’s sad because I can’t really go outside in the summer, I can’t really go out now.
House In The Wood changed my life. I’ve met my best friends there. I wouldn’t have met them through anything else. So House In The Wood is a true blessing. I have friends from Humble Park to Crystal Lake now. I wouldn’t have met my counselors. My counselors are my family away from home. Mr. V, he’s not here, but he’s like my older brother. Mr. V taught me so much, he taught me how not to care what anyone else thinks and just be your own person for as long as possible. He’s the one who got me really into art.
People should recognize that summer camp isn’t a place you just go for a week and come back the same person. Every year I come back as a new person. I have learned so many things that I brought back here. I learned how to talk to people. I learned how to open up to people easily. I learned how to do archery. Archery is one of my favorite things to do now. Archery and boating are my favorite things to do now. It’s tough to choose my favorite things about camp since everything is amazing but I really just want to say thank you to SCOPE for allowing me to do all this stuff. Thank you a million times over because SCOPE provided all of these things for us. So, I wanted to say thank you.
I also want to tell kids if you haven’t already gone to camp, do it because my first session of camp I was so scared. My mom was like do you want to go to summer camp for two weeks. I was like, will I come back home after? Is this an overnight thing? She was like, you will go to Wisconsin, out of the state, for a week or two weeks and you’re going to live there, you’re going to meet people and then you’re going to come back. I was like, I don’t know and she said you’re going. And then, I went and I was scared for two days and then Mr. V was like “boy.” I warmed to my cabin and my cabin mates were the best and I’m still friends with my cabin mates now. My cabin mates are like my brothers.
I just want to say thank you one last time to SCOPE because choosing my favorite thing about summer camp is so hard. Thank you to SCOPE and thank you for giving me the chance to go to camp each year and become the person that I am.