The relationships that I made with both friends and staff were an important part of my childhood. Camp has shaped some of the most important relationships I have in my life. I met my wife at Camp Taconic when we were kids and some of my best friends are from summer camp. Camp relationships are unlike anything else in the world. You see your friends and counselors at their best and at their worst. You are forced to become a family in the absence of your actual family. Once you embrace this, the relationships you form are outstanding.
EXPLORING OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Camp provided me a safe place to get out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I went to camp an outwardly confident boy but inside I was quite fearful. I always put on a brave face but there were many things that I was scared of. Camp forced me out of my comfort zone in many ways and allowed me to conquer a lot of my fears. Counselors and friends pushed me to try new things and I discovered a confidence that I never knew I had.
LEARNING VALUES THROUGH COMPETITION
Competition is another aspect of camp that was integral in shaping my experience. Camp was a place where I played with my friends nonstop and learned the values that come along with competition. I learned the meaning of hard work, teamwork, camaraderie, sportsmanship, discipline and more. These are values that I took with me through high school where I played three varsity sports, earning 10 varsity letters and captain in every sport. The values I learned at camp through competitions and sports are still with me today and help drive me in my professional life.
I hope SCOPE campers experience lifelong friendships. I want them to have the same experience that I had as a camper and that I see each day as a camp director.
I want SCOPE campers to discover confidence and embrace acceptance. In a world filled with hate and differences, I believe camp is a place where kids should be able to be themselves. Campers should be accepted no matter where they come from and what they excel in. Not only should campers be accepted, they should be made to feel like they are special and valued. Through camp and newfound individualism, campers can discover a completely new confidence. Confidence discovered at camp can permeate throughout the rest of their lives and impact them in a profound way. This is crucial for young people today.
I want SCOPE campers to have the opportunity to escape the realities of the “real world” and disconnect while at camp. In the age of 24-hour news and modern technology, camp is more important than ever.
Camp changed my life completely and totally. I met my wife at camp, became a confident person at camp, learned many life values and so much more. If I can give campers just a fraction of what camp gave me, I will have changed their lives for the better. Camp is an education that I believe is impossible to replicate or get elsewhere. I believe in camp and how it can affect you, whole-heartedly, and I want to give that gift to as many people as I can.