Volunteering at Experience Camps for almost 8 years has been by far the most rewarding experience of my life. For me, the best part of camp is watching a group of strangers become family after just 5 days – there is truly nothing like it. There are so many memories that run through my head that I’d like to share, but it comes down to the little moments that put a smile on my face.
· The daily dance parties after each meal, we truly dance like no one is watching.
· A first-year camper in an older cabin who seems a bit shy, like he isn’t buying into the ‘camp thing’, spotted giving a piggyback ride to a younger camper with all of his bunkmates trailing wanting the same.
· That same shy kid becoming a role model for the younger cabins, giving him a sense of leadership that completely changed his attitude towards camp for years to come.
· The time after a tough circle when I saw campers comforting each other after sharing about their special person. With their arms around one another, it seemed like these kids have known each other for years, but it had only been days.
· Just a few minutes later, I saw them on the basketball courts having the time of their lives.
This is what camp is all about. It’s about having fun, but also taking moments throughout the day to reflect and even cry if needed. It’s about pushing you outside of your comfort zone, even if it’s just to dance in any silly way. It’s about making friends that become family- bonds that will last a lifetime. It’s about running and playing like there’s no tomorrow. It’s learning a new skill, sport, or game. It’s about learning new, healthy ways to grieve and understand that you are not alone. While it’s an incredibly rewarding week for me, it’s also just really fun.
It actually is the BEST WEEK EVER.