Walk by any summer camp and you will find camp counselors wearing knee high socks, torn up gym shoes and shorts that go past their belly buttons. You'll see campers in white shirts covered in dirt and sticky fingers from ooey, gooey s'mores. They are probably sitting around a campfire, the smell of burnt wood in the air and you can hear laughter and songs. Those magical moments of sticky fingers and laughter make great stories, but for those of us who experienced camp we know those moments are so much more.
Whether you love science, horses, or swimming, summer camp is a place where you can do something you love with open and like-minded people. Camp can be a learning experience -- leaving home, meeting new people, doing things you wouldn't normally do. However, with these experiences, you stretch your comfort zone and gain confidence in facing new challenges. With the help of counselors and staff, you begin to shape yourself into a dynamic, healthy human being.
I was ten the first time that my parents sent me to Keystone Science School. I was very scared and shy and didn't truly know how to talk to people. All I wanted to do was go home. But then I met Kyle. My first night at camp, people were singing and laughing around the campfire and I remember sitting on the bench thinking about how much I didn’t want to be there. Then a stick appeared in front of my face with two marshmallows on the end and I heard a friendly voice saying, “You want an awesome treat?” In this moment I knew that someone at camp cared about me. Kyle -- one of the greatest counselors and friends I'll ever know -- helped me open up, introduced me to new friends and helped me realize that it’s okay to be yourself at camp.
Thirteen years later, I am the Assistant Director of that very same camp. With a simple s’more, Kyle changed my entire perspective. I learned that it was okay to be my silly, goofy self and over the years my camp confidence has spread into my entire life. Those brief but significant moments that happen at camp can't really be explained. It's a feeling. When I close my eyes, take a deep breath in and remember the smell of the campfire and the taste of that s’more, in that instant I'm also remembering how I became a stronger and more independent person.
Every child deserves camp, if only for that one moment where they can meet their Kyle and have someone show them all that they truly can be.
Join us for the Summer of Imagination 2017 where you can witness the magic of camp. Register online or call us at 970-455-4228 to sign up for the true camp experience.