Seven Things I Learned While Volunteering at Summer Camp

This summer I volunteered at Camp Adventure. Camp Adventure is a part of “Kids Need More,” an organization that is dedicated to supporting families, children and their siblings dealing with cancer and life threatening illnesses. Camp Adventure is a one-week sleep away camp that takes place at Timber Lake West camp in Roscoe, New York. While it was just my second year volunteering at the camp, I have formed such great friendships and connections, and gained valuable life advice that I think is important for everyone to hear and appreciate. 

1) Don't be afraid to act silly

At Camp Adventure, as a volunteer, it is your job to encourage kids to smile, let loose and have fun. If you are worried about making a fool of yourself, so will the campers. This goes for most things in life. Don't be afraid to raise your hand in class, dance at a bar, or speak up for yourself. Life is too short to constantly be worried about what others are thinking. 

 

2) A break from social media will do you some good. 

At camp, I had no service and no wifi. Whether I liked it or not, I had no choice but to stay off of my phone. Talking to people during lunch time and at night in the cabins really makes a difference. Not to mention, the days start to feel longer when you are not constantly immersed in social media.

 

3) There are many hours in a day, you have plenty of time.

This goes along with point number two. When you wake up each day at 7am and go to sleep at 11pm, there is so much time in the day. Each night I remember thinking about all of the fun activities we did that day. How productive you want to be each day really is up to you. I complain about not having enough time to study and do my homework, but it really is doable if I plan my time more carefully.

 

4) Everyone is secretly a kid at heart. 

No matter what age you are, you are never to old to sing camp songs, have a shaving cream fight, play cards and get excited about ice pops. Camp Adventure reminded me that when we stop worrying about getting dirty and focus on having fun, it is healthy for our soul.

 

5) Your appearance is not everything. 

At camp, there is no such thing as a bad hair day. Seriously. No one has time to inspect your hair or if your outfit matches. Frankly, no one cares. It is not the most important thing in the world. To be honest, that was one of my favorite things about camp. Everyone was just glad to be there and not worried about little things we usually are worrying about day to day. 

6) Bring bug spray. 

This point isn't super cliche or philosophical, but still very essential. Do not skip on bringing bug spray or you will hate yourself 24 mosquito bites later. 

7) Don't be afraid to get dirty.

Embrace being uncomfortable. Once again, as a volunteer, you are there to make the experience for campers enjoyable and carefree. If they see you freaking out over bugs, or getting mud on your shoes, they are going to adopt that negative energy. No one needs more negativity that is already put out into the world.

 

Obviously, you don't have to go to camp to realize all of these things. However, sometimes being isolated in the middle of nature with people you don't know and no internet gets you to realize that there is so much more to life than scrolling through Instagram, debating about which pair of earrings to wear, or complaining about walking instead of driving. I have learned so much just by attending this camp. It really makes you appreciate everything that you have and to be kind to people whether they are a stranger or a close friend.