3 years ago I was filling out an application for a summer job. A summer job that would take me thousands of miles away from home, throw me into the great outdoors, and make me responsible for hundreds of other people’s children.
Little did I know, this ‘summer job’ would still be taking place 3 years later, and be leaving such an impact on my life.
I’m writing this on one of many journeys around the states. 3 summer’s later, and the journey out of camp is as bittersweet as ever. Each year, I never fully know if I’ll be returning to camp, and that’s the hardest part. I guess, the more we grow up, the more responsibilities we have that can interfere with our summer plans – but I want you to know something. Ledgewood will always be home; it’s a place that has helped shaped me into the person I am today. I never want to have to say no to the camp world, if I can make it a profession, I will, but for now I say goodbye to each summer and cherish each one for its opportunities and experiences.
Being a counsellor means a lot of things. Yes, it’s a lot of fun, but a lot more goes into it in order to be that great camp counsellor. Being a camp counsellor means putting others before ourselves, like giving our raincoat to the camper who forgot to pack hers in her day bag ahead of a storm. It means patience. We often feel like a broken record during the summer, repeating rules over and over again, but patience is a virtue, it sinks in eventually…I promise. It means being a role model; someone trusted, someone to lean on and someone others want to be. Being a camp counsellor ultimately means being the best you can be to provide an unforgettable experience for every individual that attends camp. Every year I aspire to be all of that and more, and it’s thanks to you that I am given the opportunity to put it into practise, grow in my position and continue to develop the necessary skills to better myself – there is always room for improvement in the camp world.
Ledgewood, thank you for making me the counsellor that I am today, you’ve taught me more than you know. Thanks to you I’ve learnt to be open to new opportunities and experiences whether that be caving and repelling, cooking over a fire, trying new foods or becoming ‘friends’ with bugs. Thank you for throwing me out of my comfort zone and giving me the opportunities to develop my confidence. People always ask me “when are you going to get a real job?”, but what they don’t understand is that amongst all the fun, we develop an array of valuable and interpersonal skills that employers KILL for.
I’ve also met people here that I can’t imagine my life without. I would never have imagined I could be such good friends with a bunch of people that live thousands of miles away from me; but here I am, just finishing my travels around the US visiting friends from the past 3 years, and convincing everyone to come to my side of the pond so I can return the favour. To my co-counsellors for the crazy, unforgettable moments we’ve shared like getting utterly lost on night hikes, eating cheese at midnight, dancing on tables, and to the administrative staff for the ongoing support and encouragement, thanks. Thanks for being the best formation of this second family I have gained.
The songs sung, the dances danced, the trails hiked, the friendships formed and the campers impacted will be in my heart forever.
Thank you, Camp Ledgewood.
– Nutella ❤