True friendship at camp means learning to have each other’s back and respect the differences of the choices we made, to be ourselves and still remain friends.
I learned I didn’t need my parents or siblings to make smart decisions that I believed in. I had counselors, friends, bunkmates, and a loving environment around me empowering me to make smart decisions in a supportive, arms distance type of way.
I had my first experience walking on water at camp and LOVED every minute of it. Each summer, I couldn’t wait to get back up and explore the lake from behind the boat, crossing wakes with my friends and challenging myself to get better and better each time because the feeling of exhilaration was freeing…
Having the opportunity, many for the first time, to explore relationships with people their own age, older, younger, from different parts of the world and finding that common ground that camp captures.
IGNITING THE FEELINGS OF BEING ‘NERVITED’
Nervited – nervous and excited all at the same time, because they can do something that might look or feel different but when involved feels oddly right. New friendships, new places, new activities, new songs, new rituals, new foods… all these things have a promise of providing something positively different from what’s familiar and comfortable.
S’mores over an open campfire surrounded by camp friends, starlit night skies, the warm summer air, the woodsy smells and the taste of a memory being created.
Camp has been everything to me – the friendships I made, the skills I have built, the traditions I practiced, the rituals I still stick to (such as making my bed). For me, to be able to help another child, or hundreds of children explore these opportunities is what camp sparked inside me; the knowledge that what I have been exposed to was a gift and now it’s time to share that gift with those who might not have access to it without my help.