Volunteer Spotlight on Sydney Banner

Volunteer Spotlight on Sydney

I didn’t know that I was a camp person until Experience Camps came into my life four years ago. I also didn’t know that I too needed a safe place to be vulnerable. I didn’t know I’d get to experience the bravery and authenticity of a group of young girls and watch them grow before my eyes over the past few summers.

I lost my dad to cancer in the fall of 2012, right before I was to embark on the biggest change in my life: moving across the country to NYC for my career. I had made great friends and colleagues in this new place, but I was unable to really process my own grief and open up about his death and the different emotions that I continued to feel.

Then, I found Experience Camps. I initially saw this opportunity as a wonderful way to honor the memory of my father. What I didn’t know was that camp would connect me with amazing people that I would have never known otherwise, teach me that it’s much easier to get out of your comfort zone when it’s #FTK, and show me that fun and laughter can exist within all the sadness that loss brings. The most important thing that Experience Camps introduced me to was the inspiring campers who I’ve been so lucky to have the opportunity to share a week of their lives each summer.

Sydney and a camper holding necklaces Sydney and another camper

I didn’t know that I would get the chance to grow alongside them. I didn’t know that I would have a beautifully diverse extended family from Experience Camps. And I certainly didn’t know that I would end up counting down the days to see them again (in person) for our best week ever.

But, now I know. Thank you, Experience Camps.