A Camp Counselor's View of Camp

February 8, 2018

I’ve been coming to camp since I can remember. My Grandma was a Volunteer Nurse at LMC, my Papa (Dad) was a Counselor for the longest time, My oldest brother worked at LMC. Camp is kind of a Summer get away, not a job. When I was there my first summer, the staff were so lovely and accepting. It was also funny because Sarah Bennett was on staff with Me, Both our Papas grew up and went/worked at camp together. Since the 50’s there’s almost always been a Myers and a Bennett at LMC, causing controlled mayhem. When I left for camp in May of 2016 my Papa said to me “I hope working at camp is as much as an experience for you as it was for me," Eric Myers (Papa). After my first summer camp I knew this was more than just a place, because the campers are what make camp fun!

 

You never really know what they’re going to say and ask, making it an exciting experience. The campers ask you personal questions that they probably don’t want others to know, They’re human and get embarrassed too. What I like to do is sit with the camper and think about it to, leaving them in a place where they came up with the answer on their own, but with facilitation from me. The youth are the future and camp gives them experiences that will help them grow into a future I would like to be a part of.  One with trees and breathable air.

 

These are the reasons I came back. I came back for the campers. I love working the same weeks in camp and the same sites on outreach because I get to see the campers again. For two years now I have been a part of the Summer Camp experience for certain campers.

 

Growing up I would go to my both my grandparents houses each day and they would tell me a story or two about growing up. I always liked it and love telling my families stories to MY campers. Most of the camps stories are transferred by mouth, so how you were told it is how you tell it. As a camper I would be on the edge of my seat as my Counselor John B. would walk around the camp fire giving his rendition of the Forgiveness story (I actually don’t know the name, It’s about a son and a Papa who get into a fight and the only way the son will come home is if the dad ties a handkerchief around a tree). It is my favorite story to tell and I only tell it when I have a camp fire to walk around. Counselors who weren’t campers may not know it but campers are watching. As a counselor the campers are always watching. You’re their role model.

 

 

If a kid gets hurt and someone shows signs of panic, kids will see it as bigger than it is. I had a camper get stung once and wasn’t crying because I wasn’t worried about it and kept saying that it was just a little sting. Then that kid got stung again later in the week and another counselor got to him before me and you would have thought the kid got shot. The counselor had never treated anyone for a bee sting and was panicking on how to do it. The kid picked up on that. 

 

Ok, that was a large tangent, back on topic. My favorite camp activities/games. I love the rock wall, because I couldn’t do it my first few times. When I finally did it, it was the best feeling, you would have thought I just found a cure for some serious disease by how ecstatic I was. This is why my second year I made it a point to get trained on the rock wall. As a future teacher, the best feeling is when students get that “aha!” moment. Camp is filled with those. The rock wall is where I see it most. As a camper I looked up to the person on top of the wall. At the top I get to see the campers excited they made it to the top and nervous for the zip line. I get to reassure them that it’ll all be ok. I love reassuring people for things that will cause healthy personal growth. 

 

My favorite song would have to be Sanctuary. When my time is done at camp I like to think about the campers. I’m trying to come back this summer, but I am also studying abroad in May 16th-June 23rd.  So I can possibly make it to my Summer Home for one week. Camp is my Summer Home.

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