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 ♥