When I think about all the things that summer camp has taught me, a million things flood to mind. From my first year as a shy college kid to now a woman with a degree and full-time camp life, many lessons were learned.
Although I could go for days on end about the all things that camp has taught me, I’ll just stick to my 25 favorite. Ya ready?
25. Trying everything on your plate is a good thing.
24. The river isn’t as scary as it looks, I promise.
23. Singing at the top of your lungs is one of the most exhilarating things you will ever do and it’s encouraged.
22. It is okay to miss home, to pine for all that you know and understand. It’s not okay to sulk in your homesickness, that’s when you miss out on all the fun.
21. Glitter will be everywhere and you won’t be able to get rid of it, that’s just the way cookie crumbles on that one.
20. You will learn something new about yourself every single day.
19. You will never be alone. Someone is always there for you and ready to catch you when you fall.
18. The bonds you make with your fellow campers and counselors will follow you through life. These are some of the strongest relationships you will ever build, you can count on that.
17. Siesta WILL be your best friend. It just will.
16. Opening Day is the best day of your life. You will reunite with your best friends and that feeling of being home sets in full force. Get ready for the happiest embraces of your life, you’ve waited all year to see these people.
15. Closing Day will be the worst day of your life. Campers, counselors, and yourself included are leaving home. You know it’s ‘just goodnight and not goodbye’ but that won’t stop the immense amount of tears and mascara running down your face.
14. Sundays by the river are the most peaceful days on camp. To sit and take in the beauty of the world is extremely humbling and makes you appreciate your surroundings a little more each day.
13. Laundry becomes a sacred event. If you don’t think so, well you didn’t summer camp properly.
12. You will meet your best friends at camp. The greatest souls you will ever come across will be the people that you lived with for months on end. You will see them at their best and worst, they will see you with no make-up and in the same uniform for three days straight. It evens out at the end of the summer.
11. Your campers will become your children. As of now I am 22 and have 16 daughters ranging in age of 16-18, I’ve accepted it and wouldn’t want anything to be different. When they entered my cabin, I became mom: the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life.
10. Camp sickness is an actual thing. I don’t need science to tell me how my heart feels, the ache for summer days and pizza cheers does that enough.
9. You will learn how to be independent and it is so gratifying.
8. Making a fool of yourself just comes with the job and it’s quite freeing. Do you normally wear your dad’s sweats for field day or let ten little girls do your make-up? Well no, but at camp you sure as heck will.
7. You will gain confidence you never thought possible. I can’t explain how it happens but somewhere between the mosquito bites and unwashed hair you transform into a brand new self.
6. Sunday songs will always hold a special place in your heart. The sounds of a guitar will bring you back to harmonizing in the dining hall so quick you won’t even know what hit you.
5. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. So jump on the blob, climb the rock wall, get on a horse or take a cooking class. You might find that you happen to like the things you never thought possible.
4. Being tidy is not as bad as it seems. It’s amazing to me that a month at camp taught me to make my bed everyday after my mother tried for 18 years. Sorry about that, mom.
3. A new skill will be etched into your brain daily. You may not realize it the moment it happens, but trust me something about camp makes it possible.
2. You are perfect the way you are and you should never let anyone tell you differently. Camp will make you realize that you are a beautiful creation. It took me 21 years to understand my value, who I am, and who I want to be in this life. Camp helped open my eyes to my own beauty, how amazing is that?
- You will fall in love. From the way the water runs down the riverside, the morning bugle and evening taps, the memories and friends that never fade, or the way that the sky always seems brighter at night: camp will always be the guiding light that brings you home. You will fall in love with camp and it will be magical.
Camp is a place that will live in your heart forever, right next to the glitter that will never leave your hair.