It’s been an amazing eight weeks of my life. I moved into a cabin with a sleeping bag, pillow, and duffle bag full of clothes and I left with more memories than I thought was even possible. I try not to get attached to people at jobs because I know how quickly people can leave – but at camp I somehow couldn’t help but get attached to everyone there.
I have gotten unique experiences that I wouldn’t of gotten working anywhere else this summer. I got to hear an autistic boy brag about climbing the rock climbing wall for the first time in three years at camp and I got to see his face glow with pride. I had the opportunity to hear about a down syndrome boy who kissed his counsellor goodbye on the first day. I personally got to experience a session of warm and fuzzies where a camper wrote “you’re a real star” to me. Every little thing at camp can be a big deal to a kid and it can make your heart simply glow at them overcoming hurdles and making new friends.
There are staff that I have become so close with from living with them for so long. The ginger trio has been a great group of people to get to know – each one is crazier than the other. Then there’s the curly hair party who owns my heart for their dedication in becoming teachers and still having the ability to have fun. I fear losing touch with everyone and so I’m clinging onto everything I can to keep them closer.
I’m now getting ready to go to Florida and to go back to Toronto to start another year of school knowing I’ve grown, knowing I’ve changed from the summer, and knowing it’s all for the better.
Wow what a summer it has been. I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I packed my bag and journeyed on into a job I knew nothing about with a bunch of people I couldn’t pick out of a crowd. Today, I find myself returning to camp for the second last time of the summer with the ability to my job to the best of my ability, and the confidence to be able to describe each resi staff’s unique personality.
For many having a summer job is about making as much money as you can for school the upcoming year and while I’m not trying to argue that money isn’t important I think the life lessons a job has been able to give you is more valuable. I could of found an office job where I would of been making over minimum wage – but I wouldn’t of had the pleasure of being a role model to a group of girls every week and I think that’s been the highlight of my summer. When kids come off the bus saying “Hi Star!” my stomach gets giddy excited that I’ve made a big enough influence in kids lives that they want to come up and continue to see me. I love when kids at dinner ask you to sit beside them and I can’t get enough of them asking if you’re married to so and so. There’s so many memories of this summer I couldn’t of gotten from just any old office job.
I’ve made the best of friends here and while I will agree we’re not all the same personality we all have this common bond that nobody else has. My best friend at camp and me are pretty much twins without even realizing it, and the youngest of staff in resi have become some of my favourites to talk to. I find it impossible to believe that Rizzo is only 17 when she has given me some of the best advice ever heard or that Oakley is barely 18 when her maturity level passes so many people my age.
I went to camp unsure of the person I want to be and as I leave I know I can handle working a job for barely any money if it means I am making a difference in someone’s life. You have no idea the power of a friendship bracelet or a letter in the mail until you’ve worked at a camp, the little things in kids lives are the biggest things. When I see a one to one camper who would be kept in a special education classroom without his peers finally have a chance to socialize and just be a kid I realize what camp is all about – making those little moments into big memories the kid has to hang onto until next summer.
It’s impossible to put into words how much this opportunity has meant to me and how much I want it to never end. I may sleep on the most uncomfortable bed and wake up stiff from being in a sleeping bag all night but watching a kid receive a letter from their counselor and their face light up makes it all worth it. As tired as I am all the time now and as much as I miss sleeping past 8:30 I wouldn’t wake up later and miss out on a second of this.
There’s been good and bad and the good always outweighs the good. But one simple thing is standing out in my mind more than anything this week: It Can’t Always Be Summer. Make the best of those two little months you have ♥
I know I wanted to keep a camp blog this summer but there is too much going on at camp for me to do so. Camp has kind of become my life – I look forward to leaving early on Sunday’s to get back to my new found family, I hate leaving on Friday’s knowing we are short a day of seeing each other, and the highlight of my day is always when we’re in the basement of the lodge having time to ourselves exchanging stories.
Camp isn’t a job for me, it’s a lifestyle. I’ve met all these amazing people who I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to meet outside of camp. There’s people at camp that I connect with more than I connect with to people at school. You share an experience not many people get to have and you face challenges that a lot of jobs don’t have. The greatest thing is getting a phone FILLED with nicknames that nobody in the world would get but you. I’m so sad that in 20 days this experience is going to be over but I’m hoping next year I get hired back. You get attached to people there who end up becoming your rocks in every situation. I feel almost like there’s two lives – the outside world and the camp world. I don’t want them mixing because I don’t think one could ever match the other in amazingness.
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to update soon, but there’s always that chance that you may not see an update from me until Florida. I’m hoping now with only one blog to focus on I won’t feel weird posting about camp and about my real life all in one blog. Let’s see how this goes 🙂