Spending a summer at a camp is an experience like no other; an experience that no matter how much you try to explain it, no one will ever understand until they experience it themselves. Summer camp is a place both you, and your campers get to spend 8 or more weeks away from everyday life – trying new things, growing in confidence, creating memories and making life long friendships.
Over two summers, camp taught me that water fixes everything (sickness, fatigue, boredom…you name it, I’m sure a glass of water fixes it), “this is a repeat after me song” will be your most used phrase…alongside “I need to see a buddy line”, no matter how many clothes you pack, you will spend the majority of the summer in the same few outfits, capture the flag takes things to a whole new level, fellow staff become closer than family, but you don’t even know their full names (Girl Scout camps are all about nicknames✌🏼️) and despite the fact you finish the summer completely drained and exhausted, you can’t wait to do it all over again.
Only at camp is it acceptable to wear whatever you want and forget about fancy hair styles and makeup for the whole summer…only at camp do you realise life away from social media and technology…only at camp is it acceptable to randomly break into performances at meal times…only at camp is ‘you’re so crazy/weird’ considered a compliment…only at camp do you get to call the outdoors your office…only at camp do you get to hang out with wonderful children every day and call it ‘work’.
To Ledgewood, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be able to experience and hold onto these ‘only at camp’ memories. Thank you for giving me the time to grow and become the best counsellor I could be. Camp was fun, challenging, tiring, yet rewarding, and there is no better feeling than leaving the gates of camp, knowing I made a difference to young girls lives over the past two summers. Two summers at camp taught me that every day at camp is completely different, every situation needs to be handled differently because no two campers are the same. Some campers have been to camp many time before, whereas for some, it’s their first time…some campers will require more guidance and encouragement than others… some campers like you straight away, whilst others it will require more patience. It was my role as a camp counsellor to be the responsible adult for these girls; identifying their individual needs, providing the continuous support and encouragement, being a positive role model, ensuring everyone’s having fun and creating a positive camping experience for all girls, whether it’s their first or fifth summer. I would do anything I could to make my girls have a memorable experience at camp, and enjoyed every minute of the day, whether that be by being their buddy in the buddy line when they ask, singing their favourite repeat song over and over again (despite how much you wanted to avoid it), jumping in the pool fully clothed, and spending the majority of the summer covered in paint – as a counsellor, you really do do anything to see a smile on every one of your campers faces.
and to the counsellors. Summer camp wouldn’t be possible for our campers if there was to be no ‘team’ amongst the staff. One of the joys of Camp Ledgewood is that it’s a smaller camp, this of which means there are less staff, so a stronger, more personal bond is created very easily amongst all the staff within a short space of time. Summer camp staff come from all corners of the world, and it’s amazing to spend 8 weeks soaking in the differing cultures, working off one another’s strengths and weaknesses, and being part of a supportive, encouraging, crazy ‘family’. As an international, there’s nothing I appreciate more than the Americans that welcomed me into their lives from day one. It’s hard to believe that you could become such good friends with people that live thousands of miles away from you, but it happens, and I can honestly say, the friendships with some of the Americans, are some of the strongest friendships I have.
and as for the international staff, I can’t thank you guys enough. It’s nice to be around a few people that are in the same situation as you, and although being away from home is hard at times, our personalities bounced off one another and I couldn’t have got through the summer without our times of laughter, and rants about life. Love you all ❤️
I went through the whole summer knowing in the back of my head that it’s going to be my last, but it didn’t fully hit until the last few days at camp, saying goodbye to both old and new friends, not knowing when I will see them again. Camp is contagious, it makes a huge impact on everyone’s lives…I know I’d spend every summer at Ledgewood if I could.
At some point, I will look back on life and realise that most of my favourite memories will be from two, 8 week periods, at Camp Ledgewood. Camp Ledgewood will always be my home, no matter where I go. This is goodnight and not goodbye.
From Nutella X