Lessons I Learned From Summer Camp

I started going to summer camp when I was barely 6 years old. I was technically a year too young to be going for the whole week’s session, but my mom went to the same camp and wanted me to start as soon as possible. Based on her experience, I think she knew that putting me at camp at such a young age could only benefit me. She was right. After my first year at camp, I continued to go for 10 years after that. Summer camp taught me so many things and helped me grow so much. Here are some of the most important lessons that I learned from growing up in summer camp. 

  1. 1.  You will be around people that you don’t always get along with and that’s okay. 

    I was in cabins with people that I did not always see eye to eye with. At a girls camp, there is bound to be some form of drama, especially as you grow older and start to mature. However, some of these people I did not get along with I ended up being around for many years throughout my whole camp experience. As a young girl, I didn’t want to be around these people because I thought that I shouldn’t have to hang around with people that I didn’t like. But as I grew older I realized that sometimes we are put into situations where we have to be around people that we don’t get along with. Sometimes it is out of our control and what we have to do is always be kind to those people no matter how much we dislike them. 

  2. 2. Challenges are good. 

    One of the most challenging things I did at camp was called a 24-hour solo. I stayed overnight off campgrounds on a campsite, with only a tarp to cover me and let me tell you, it was nerve-wracking. When the night came, I could hear all the sounds of the forest around me and honestly as a 14-year-old girl I was pretty scared. However, when the morning came and I had made it through the night; I had never been so proud of myself. I felt the same way when I completed a 2.8km portage, soloing a canoe on my back the whole way. I tried many things that challenged me through my years at camp, but it showed me that I could do anything I set my mind to.

  3. 3.  Being completely and utterly yourself is amazing. 

    At my camp, we were always encouraged to do the things that we loved. There was a multitude of activities to choose from and you could excel in whichever ones you wanted to. At camp, I never felt like I had to hold back from being completely myself. I could do the activities that I loved to do and if that was different from someone else, it was okay! Having the opportunity to be completely myself with no restrictions helped me grow and blossom and understand what makes me, me. To this day, I still love to do all of the things that I loved to do at camp and I think I will continue to love those things for the rest of my life.

There are so many other important life lessons that I learned at camp, such as how to be independent, kind and respectful and I am sure many more that I am forgetting. However, these are the three main lessons that I learned from my decade at camp and the things that I know I will hold on with me for the rest of my life.