Ysaira’s Camp Story

Ten years ago, I was sitting in the auditorium of my elementary school listening to the presentation that changed my life. Christie Ko was informing parents and their kids about a summer camp named Fiver, in which we would learn so many new things. She mentioned some of the most exciting and fun activities held at Fiver and to be honest, she had me when she mentioned the horse barn. All I thought after that was where do I sign up? Little did I know that not only was I in for a life changing experience, but I was also just a bus ride away from discovering my second home.

Ever since my first summer at camp I knew that I had to go back every chance I had. Camp quickly became an essential part of my summer. In just two weeks I learned more about life, myself and the environment than I ever did in a whole school year. Every summer we had to set goals for ourselves, and each time I found ways to surpass my goals and implement the values obtained back at home in my everyday life, even with those around me.

Camp is filled with positive energy. That positivity makes me believe that if we don’t view the world through the eyes of an optimist then how can we possibly overcome the negativity? The fact that I had this opportunity at such a young age for ten consecutive years really made everything I absorbed stay within me and build me into this person you all see here today.

In case there was any doubt, I am proof that SCOPE works – summer camp opportunities really do promote education.  Being a senior in high school and completely oblivious of the college process is an absolute disaster as if being a teenager isn’t hard enough. Adding on the college process is probably way more exhausting than any test I’ve ever taken at school. Fiver helped me and continues to support me throughout the whole process, not only professionally but morally too. I am constantly being motivated to pursuit my dream of one day becoming a doctor.

Words cannot express my heartfelt appreciation for being privileged with camp in my life. All of this is possible thanks to SCOPE and all of you.  You have granted so many life changing lessons, unbreakable friendships, so many memories to forever be cherished and tons of important human values.

Ysaira Cartagena, Camp Fiver