Camp is special. It’s something that is so hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it on their own. For me, camp has been a culmination of memorable, hilarious, and bizarre events that combined to form an absolutely unforgettable summer.
Camp is communal. It is a place of vast sharing. (Sharing is caring!) Honestly, I really do enjoy sharing. I love lending out my clothes, sharing my food, and just generally giving things to people. But man has this sharing experience been unlike any other! For the past 8 weeks, I have shared a small (un-air-conditioned) room with up to 9 people; this really has not been so hard. The bathhouse on the other hand was more of a challenge. Sharing 1 bathhouse with around 40 girls was an adjustment. I went to bed dirty almost every night (don’t judge me) because there was no warm water left after all the campers showered/I could not be bothered to drag myself to the bathhouse at midnight by the time they were all finally finished. The lack of privacy was also not ideal, with the worst part being the need to plan my trips to the bathroom at specific times just to have a little peace and quiet. Although this usually did not even work out because campers still managed to find me!
Camp is humbling. Spending hours scrubbing mattresses and doing loads of laundry for homesick bed-wetters is humbling. It’s not necessarily a task that I expected to take on. Consoling a sobbing, homesick camper for hours into the night is draining and certainly not my favorite way to enjoy the evening. But events like these have shown me that nothing is “beneath me.” These moments have taught me to serve others more graciously and humbled me immensely.
Camp is exhausting. Working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week can really take it out of you! Each morning, all I wanted to do was savor my last few minutes of sleep after the trumpet wakeup call blasted through the campground, but I was always greeted with a line of eager girls outside my cabin door, waiting patiently for me to braid their hair. I groggily delighted in this opportunity to love on these sweet kids through something as simple as making them feel pretty by helping them with their hair. I am so glad that the “work” felt a lot more like play, making the long days so much more enjoyable, no matter how exhausting!
Camp is rewarding. When a camper tells you that you are their favorite counselor or even that you have made camp special for them, it is an unbelievable feeling. The fact that God could use me to make any sort of small impact on these kid’s lives is an honor. And I hope that my actions were used for His glory to plant seeds and spread His love to the children I encountered.
The past three months have been some of the most fun and memorable times of my life. I went into this summer not really knowing what to expect, but feeling extremely excited to finally have the chance to fulfill my long-time desire of being a camp counselor. And just a few days ago, I left reluctantly, not wanting to depart from new friends and a new place that quickly came to feel like a second home. I would not trade all the late night dance parties, campfire s’mores, or bathhouse jam sessions for the world! I can safely say, camp Woodmont has definitely left its mark on me.